Gary S. Mendoza

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The incidence of violent conflict between States poses the gravest threat to the stability and well-being of the world community. In an increasingly interdependent global system, the consequences of international conflict can extend far beyond the borders of the disputing nations. Given these systemic dangers, the global community has a profound interest in the peaceful settlement of international disputes. Nonetheless, several facts of international life militate against recourse to peaceful settlement in all situations. In the context of a particular dispute, a disputant might not perceive peaceful settlement to be in its best interest. Rarely will a country be willing to sacrifice important national interests solely for the sake of global security. The emotions and volatility inherent in conflict situations may inhibit any effort to resolve a dispute peacefully. As a result, intervention by a third party, with a general or specific interest in the peaceful resolution of the conflict, may be essential to prevent the outbreak of hostilities or to facilitate negotiations once fighting has erupted.

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