Speaker offers plan to end war

By Hope Smith

A West Point graduate and former army captain will be teaching Kentuckians how to end all wars and bring peace to the world this week.

Paul Chappell, author of “The End of War: how waging peace can save humanity, our planet and our future,” is the son of a military man who has experienced war firsthand. After graduating from West Point in 2002, he served as a captain in the U.S. Army for seven years, and he was deployed to Iraq before leaving active duty last year.

Now he spends his time traveling the country to promote global peace and his thoughts on how to achieve a future without war. Through workshops and lectures, Chappell reaches students, veterans, journalists, educators and authors.

He will spend Wednesday afternoon with a handful of students from UK’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, a graduate program that prepares a select number of students for careers in international and government affairs.

Patterson School Assistant Professor Robert Farley hopes the students will learn something from Chappell’s diverse opinions on war and peace.

“He’s an interesting guy because his argument suggests that it’s possible not to just end one war but to end all wars,” Farley said. “And with his background, he has a real sense of knowing where he comes from.”

Farley says Chappell suggests the idea that war is unnatural and brings to focus the fact that military institutions worldwide have to focus a large part of their training on how to keep soldiers from running away from battle. This suggests that humans are not naturally prone to violence and instinctively want to retreat.

The Patterson School is comprised of both military and civilian students. Speakers are invited to offer different insights and provoke dialogue and alternate ways of thinking.

“We have to talk about war if we want to talk about today’s society,” Farley said. “War is something that still remains inevitable.”

Chappell suggests that war is not wired into our brains and is something that can be purged from our society, like slavery. To him, war is unnatural.

“It’s not too often we get exposure to a sophisticated argument about pacifism, but I think this is one of them,” Farley said.

Military veterans from all backgrounds have emerged from many wars with different viewpoints on war and peace. Some may complete their duties never to raise a hand to another creature again, while others may believe war can bring about positive changes in the world. Chappell believes it’s not too late to bring eternal peace.

Chappell currently serves as peace leadership director for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, an organization that strives to promote a world at peace, free of weapons of mass destruction.

In addition to the Patterson students, he will also be meeting UK Provost Kumble R. Subbaswamy, speaking to the Gaines Fellows on Tuesday evening and the Chellgren Fellows on Wednesday evening.