Vast population growth across the globe is contributing to international conflicts that require US support, advised retired Democratic Senator George Mitchell during a meeting held Wednesday for government technology professionals.
As the former US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace under the Obama Administration, Mitchell warned that much of the population growth is happening in poor regions of the world, where increased competition for land, water, other natural resources and political power are contributing to inequality, injustice and the absence of freedom.
Citing a rise in the population of the Muslim world, Mitchell expressed concern for the return of Islamic fundamentalism, suggesting that that growth had stifled opportunities, communities and economies, and ultimately contributed to the revolutions now known as the Arab Spring.
“What the Islamic countries need is what people need everywhere,” suggested Mitchell, calling for the modernization of economies, the widespread acquisition of knowledge and technical skills, job creation and the strengthening of governance.
Mitchell went on to stress the significance for the US and other countries to continue to support an end to the deep-rooted Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which he said would be “easy to say, but difficult to achieve.”
Regarding the European debt crisis, the retired senator said the US has long been a leader in creating political, economic and military alliances, including the United Nations, NATO and the European Union, with the ring of nation states and, therefore, has an obligation to ensure that Europe resolves its financial issues “in a manner that does not undermine those impressive political achievements.”
Mitchell also acknowledged the United States’ leadership in the nuclear age, noting that many of the countries with nuclear capabilities have voluntarily agreed to refrain from using them.
But the senator went on to warn that the controversial nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran, in particular, could dramatically increase the risk of a non-governmental terrorist organizations gaining access to weapons he said would increase instability and cause a major threat to our already-heightened national security concerns.
“Every previous conflict came to an end and life continued,” noted Mitchell, citing numerous wars endured throughout history. “Nuclear war would not only be an end, it could be the end for civilization as we know it.”