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Bloody savings?

The genocide that disappeared. Has not Øyvind Østerud read the article he cites?


[half picture] Siv Jensen gave a big, verbal hug to Professor Øyvind Østerud after his article "Little land as a humanitarian superpower?" in the latest issue of New Norwegian Journal. Østerud writes about Norwegian commitment policy: aid and peacebuilding.

Not everything, but a lot has gone wrong, says Østerud. He wants more "critical spotlight" and countermeasures. The conclusion is more controversial. "The emphasis on effort targets, like the magical 1 percent of GDP, is certainly harmful," he writes.

It is good that Østerud puts a critical spotlight on the commitment policy. Researchers should not place ties on their critical judgments based on who might embrace the results. Researchers, on the other hand, must be thorough, verifiable and endure the same critical assessments that they subject others to.

When Østerud was first to account for Norway's role in the world, he should include trade. If the good wishes of poor countries are real, how can Norway continue to organize agricultural subsidies to legitimize the US and EU agricultural dumping which is pushing down prices on world markets and destroying the world's poor? At the same time, Siv Jensen escapes incredibly cheaply at NRK's ​​Viggo Johansen when she claims that free trade is the same as fair trade. Here, sharper, critical searchlights are needed.

Despite the fact that Østerud does not include trading in the accounts, he still bites too much. Østerud writes that "although the contexts are complicated, several studies suggest that lasting peace after the civil war occurs more often when one party has won the war than when brokers get a deal", citing an article by Roy Licklider, among others.

Does this mean that wars should be finished? Does this mean that the effort for peace mediation can be equally halved, which Siv Jensen took to Østerud for income? During a debate when this issue of New Norwegian Journal was launched, Foreign Minister Lars Christie pointed out that Østerud has failed to refer any important points to Licklider.

At first glance, the implications seem obvious, writes Licklider – if you want an end to an "identity-based civil war", you should promote a military victory, preferably by supporting the strongest side. But this is not easy to accept, he writes and continues: Outsiders will not necessarily see justice only in the winning side. As in the former Yugoslavia today, many believe that supporting winners can mean the same as opposing justice, Licklider believes.

He also writes: While military victories are less likely to collapse than negotiated solutions in such wars, military victories are also more likely to be followed by genocide. This does not mention Østerud! Nor did Viggo Johansen address this when Siv Jensen interpreted Østerud as income for his cut proposals. ■

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