In the final section of part one, Collier notes that peacekeeping does, in fact, work and that, while it is expensive, it costs a mere fraction of the cost of conflict. He asserts that there is a level at which the benefits of peacekeeping missions seem to even out (approximately $100 million a year) and that the aim should be to pull out eventually and phase in an over-the-horizon guarantee with the promise of a rapid response. He cites the British ten-year undertaking to fly troops into Sierra Leone should the need arise as an example.
Part two of the book is entitled “Facing Reality: Nasty, Brutish and Long.” In a discussion on guns, Collier notes that aid is leaking into military spending. As post-conflict military spending increases, there is a risk of reversion to war, and thus aid is a two-edged sword. Collier states that the developed nations have a responsibility to police arms embargoes and make them more effective or that they need to be more responsible with the provision of aid and to link aid allocations to a chosen level of military spending.
In “Wars,” Collier quite succinctly notes that armed struggle is development in reverse. He expands on his claim in the opening paragraphs of the book and notes that we are moving away from invasions towards an increase in rebels, insurgents and civil wars. Collier discusses several issues such as the economy, history, structure, geography and politics of a country and notes that all of these factors might be correlated with warfare but that it might be inaccurate to talk of causality. Collier warns of the dangers of reverse causality and states that it is perhaps not relevant to look at why wars happen in the developed countries but how they are allowed to happen at all. Recognising that the legacy of a civil war is another civil war, Collier states simply that we need to make civil wars more difficult.
The section entitled “Coups” is difficult in that the author obviously has a point of view that he would like to express, but, in the end, it is supported neither by case histories nor research data. Collier states that coups might be the only method of removing a troublesome dictator and that perhaps they should be harnessed, not eliminated. He notes that a coup is a surgical strike and is not nearly as devastating as a civil war. The problem is that coup leaders often get a taste for power and don’t deliver election as promised or they may be greedy and power hungry and not necessarily seeking better governance. In fact, Collier notes, from a statistical point of view, coups are at least as likely to occur in democracies as they are in autocracies and therefore, they are less likely to throw out a truly bad government than they are to oust an acceptable, functioning regime. Despite this grim outlook, Collier maintains that the threat of a coup can keep a government in check and that coups do have a role in maintaining good governance.