Is war a solution for everything?

Lessons from the Thirty Years WarHistorians: possible solution to conflict in Syria

How can a lasting peace be achieved for Syria and the Middle East? The helplessness in the face of this question has made more and more analysts, political scientists and historians think of the devastating wars of the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648). Benedikt Schulz spoke about this renaissance of remembrance with the early modern historian Michael Rohrschneider, head of the Center for Historical Peace Research at the University of Bonn.

Foreign powers also have their specific interests

On the thesis of the model of the Thirty Years War for the tensions in the Middle East between Shiites, Sunnis, Alevis:

"There is no black and white, but an both and. The longer the conflict situations in the Near and Middle East, the greater the parallels there are. On the one hand, we have the problem that denominational or religious issues are concretely mixed up with political problems and also have international dimensions, because both in the Thirty Years' War and currently in the conflict in Syria the situation is shaped by the fact that foreign powers also have their specific interests. (...) You have this denominational Gordian knot in the Peace of Westphalia, So the sheer insolubility of the denominational conflict has been resolved by establishing a so-called normal year: Everything that was Catholic on January 1st, 1624 remains Catholic and everything that was Protestant at that time remains Protestant. In my opinion, such a solution is based on the conflict in Syria not transferable. There you can see the limits of comparability in a very concrete way. "

"The whole thing just transferred to a political level"

"That was solved at the time by completely excluding the theological question of truth, so to speak, that is, it was not defined who is right, Catholics, Protestants - who for their part were quarreled again, as it were, nor among the followers of Luther and Calvin. Who decides who is right theologically? Who believes in the right God and who in the wrong God? That was deliberately not done because there was no solution. Instead, the whole thing was transferred to a political level (. ..) You can say that this would certainly be a starting point that could be pursued further in Syria - that is, the transfer of a denominational issue to a political level and then, I guess, a solution is also possible. "

There was no demonstration of the terror regiment at that time

To spread violence and terrorism:

"I do not want to hide the fact that there have also been targeted attacks against the denominational opposing party, again and again, but not with this claim - as we currently see, for example, when it comes to these execution practices - to show the world here, what kind of horror regime they wield here. That was not the case at all. "

Non-state actors such as Kurds and IS are involved

On the question of whether the Cold War would not be the more appropriate analogy:

"That would, however, simplify the conflict situation in the Middle East. It is not a pure dispute between two blocs. Rather, the blocs are mutually shifting. We have a denominational bloc, which is then also managed by the great powers in this region - Iran and Saudi Arabia. Arabia - is shaped. We have the old opponents from the Cold War, so to speak - the USA and Russia, who of course also take a position in the region, but then of course we also have actors of non-state provenance. Just think of the Kurds or to the so-called Islamic State, which actually has nothing to do with this classic state policy and classic state wars as non-state actors. All of this would actually somewhat oversimplify this situation, this conflict situation that we are currently facing . "