Many individuals, groups, and nations still believe that force is the only way to resolve serious conflicts. Sometimes prevention and resolution alone may not stop escalation. The challenge for Thirdsiders is to contain the power struggle so that the parties may be brought back to the negotiating table.
Unresolved conflict escalates because no one is paying attention to the conflict or, even if someone is, because no one sets limits on the fighting, or, lastly, because no one intervenes to provide protection. As Thirdsiders, we can learn to contain conflict by playing three successive, increasingly interventionist roles: as Witness, as Referee, and as Peacekeeper.
"The best general does not fight." Sun Tzu