The soldiers are brave but the civilians risk their lives more

I can never understand why the view that the best way to end a civil war is to supply one side, usually the one perceived to be the dictator or the one perceived to be aligned best to the economic interests of the supplier, with ever increasing amounts of weapons. Our experience seems to indicate that the contrary is true and that the best way to end a war is to refuse to supply any weapons to the fighting parties, yet that experience is never acted upon. Supplying weapons is the best way to prolong a war, but it does feed and clothe and provide jobs and luxuries for those involved in the supply of weapons.

Weapons give the ability of the less strong or the more cowardly to fight on unequal terms if the other side has no weapons. By arming both sides, the inequality of strength or bravery is to a large extent taken out of the equation and both sides then logically understand that with more weapons they will have a better chance of winning. So wars go on, and people die. Since the Great War which ended nearly a century ago, civilians and people who do not wish to fight become the collateral damage of armies and air forces. The loss of civilian life in all recent wars has been far more than the loss of life suffered by the combatants. Perhaps the safest job to do in places like Syria and Afghanistan, is to be a combatant.

The soldiers are brave but the civilians risk their lives more.