As of today, the world currently has 29 ongoing armed conflicts in several parts of the world. Twenty-nine armed conflicts mean there are wars, genocides, civil wars, and violent oppression in general that is current in our daily world, and how informed is the average person of that fact? What is even more fascinating, most of the violence happening in the world takes place in Africa and Asia, and predominantly in third world countries. For the most part, the world’s superpowers watch those violent actions and periodically even engage in foreign conflicts of domestic interest. The goal of the United Nations was conspicuous when formed in that its job is to promote world peace, not just on paper but to have a united and mighty force designed to intervene in conflicts to promote peace (Guar).
The most remarkable aspect of the American government is the constitution that rules it, written over 200 years ago with only twenty-seven amendments or changes. To put this in context, Norway’s constitution took effect in 1814 and Belgium’s was implemented in 1831, both do not compare to America’s 1787 constitution. A study conducted by the University of Chicago concluded: “The U.S constitution is the most durable constitution in the world today” (Ginsburg), which in no way is a coincidence. The Founding Fathers were inspired by enlightened thinkers from all across Europe, that valued not only the basic and physiological rights of their citizens but mainly focused on fundamental democratic rights that ensure the involvement of people in their government. Their ability to put the concept of “by the people, for the people” a concept of the great Abraham Lincoln into a written document that is as close to perfect as a humanly possible is the ground behind glorifying them. For even further credit, the constitution was designed to be a living document, that is difficult but not impossible to amend, to match the needs of society in all generations. In recent history, the US has taken a major shift in leading the world and setting an example for others, interest in foreign resources and investments have morphed America into a global control maniac, and all numbers point in that direction.
According to the SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) Expenditure Database which contains consistent time series on the military spending of countries, the global military spending per day is nearly 5 billion dollars, and the United States alone had an annual budget of 611 billion dollars in 2016. The numbers representing the amount of cash flow in the war direction is mind-boggling, in fact, it is meant to be the way it is to intimidate one another. The USA spends the most on its defense budget by far, because of a variety of reasons, mainly it is a result of deep systemic corruption within the government done by massive private donations to politicians to promote the warmongering agenda that mainly enriches the rich even more. It would be totally acceptable to fund the military in such practice if it was used to maintain security, stability, and social justice domestically and on foreign grounds, and if not then the US clearly does not need that kind of arsenal to maintain peace on its own soil, since it obviously does not have an ongoing war on its grounds and no distinct enemy either. The American government is also liable for allowing American based corporations to sell, in massive quantities weapons to nations across the globe, this is extremely dangerous, since these weapons almost always end up in the hands of terrorist and militias that have no ties to any government, and act based on their self-interest. Logically speaking, if a foreign person’s family is completely devastated by a certain group, and they find out America is responsible for the weapons behind it, that could easily be used as a recruiting strategy for terrorist groups, or any rebellious group and that is the core issue leading to chaos in the Middle East.
Civilized nations have incredible military power, that includes machinery and equipment that prevent human casualties. This means that it is simply a moral responsibility for the superpowers to intervene even in the simplest ways possible, without losing human lives, and yet influence the outcomes of certain events. When a genocide like Rwanda is about to unravel, military jets and drone strikes are easily used to intimidate the perpetrators into stopping the massacres and provide a safe haven for victims. For the record, US special forces were deployed on Mount Sinjar to save the Yazidis from a potential genocide perpetrated by ISIS, and it was a perhaps the best use of these forces any person can imagine, otherwise, 5,000 Yazidi people would have been exterminated including women and children (Cumming-Bruce). This kind of action is a moral obligation for the west, that is well worth it and produces a way more productive outcome.
The united states have been leading in military spending for the last 40 decades, nearly equaling the sum of all other following nations and their spending combined. meaning, America has about ten times more money invested in war, the army and equipment used to strengthen the US forces. The world policeman is a title that has been given to the United States, and rightfully so because as a nation, there has been great involvement in world affairs, ranging from the cold war that resulted in many proxy wars with the Soviet Union, to the Gulf war, and the Arab spring. The Iraq war alone ended up with a cost of nearly 4 trillion dollars in damages and many lives lost, what were the gains? Well according to George Bush’s defense department, that is yet to be determined. Literally, on a PowerPoint presentation that was given by the top generals in the Bush-Cheney administration had a slide that said the three magic letters of TBD. this referred to the future of Baghdad after it was invaded and what the plan was. Defense contractors in the United States pushed for the Iraq war because of monetary and financial gains.
On any given day, a third of U.S. Institute of Peace experts are sent out and used, sending out and using or returning from active conflict zones. They manage and do training and research and provide analysis and valuable supplies to partners in conflict zones and in Washington D.C., working with government and a community of people living well together across the globe. They focus on doing one thing very well in many of the world’s violent conflicts and in issues such as the role of religion, countering violent when people feel very strongly about something, and do extreme things to get their point across, advancing the rule of law, electoral violence, authority and control, peace processes and the use of technology in peace and conflict. United Nations Peacekeepers are also deployed in the world, literally everywhere with the intention of creating a global climate that is safe for everyone to live and is compatible with the UN charters composed post-WWII.
After World War II, countries came together to form a military alliance, similar to the League of Nations that was initiated after WWI. Luckily, the United Nations is still in existence up until this day, but clearly, does not play a major role in promoting world peace and security. Or it is safe to say that it failed in accomplishing its ultimate goal. The UN already had its most significant mission and it blatantly and miserably failed at it, which is unclear, it was the Rwandan Genocide. In 1994, the country of Rwanda witnessed one of the most horrific acts of violence, massacres, and certainly a recognized genocide on the watch every global power, which decided to turn away from the scene. Rwanda is a third world country, where the genocide took place using machetes, rifles, and pistols, and killed over 800,000 people within a matter of days, in fact, the genocide was only about 100 days long. Romeo Dallaire was the UN general in charge of this mission, and he emphasized the fact that he did not have enough support from the Belgians nor the French, who played a primary role in the causation of the catastrophe, simply because Belgium lost soldiers in the beginning of the acts. After the loss of 10 Belgians, every major country including the US evacuated and left the people of Rwanda helpless, and refused to volunteer any military power or peacekeepers for the mission to save the lives of the Rwandans (McGreal). That specific event clearly displays how depleted the UN is, and unpathetic almost every superpower is, in the blatant fashion.
The world came really close to an all-out nuclear war during the cold war, especially during the Cuban Missile Crisis, where nuclear weapons were pointed at the United States within only 90 miles of the southern Florida border, this resulted in a blockade of Cuba by president John F.Kennedy, to completely surround the island in order to block Soviet support. The world came so close to an end, as a Russian ship approached the blockade and was within meters of crossing the red line that would’ve resulted in firing at it and a back and forth direct attacks on the world’s largest nuclear powers. MAD, also known as Mutual Assured Destruction has almost promised the certainty of destruction and is a belief that utter obliteration of the two nations is almost inevitable. The damage would’ve extended to a global scale, where the environment could be permanently changed into inhabitable conditions that the world witnessed a fraction of in the Hiroshima bombing, as well as Nagasaki. Nuclear weapons are the biggest concerns regarding the maintenance of world peace, as they propose a threat to the entirety of the planet by a weapon holder that could be as irrational as North Korea, Iran, or even a terrorist regime like ISIS or al-Qaeda. A full-scale use of nuclear weapons by two opposite sides would effectively result in the destruction of both fighters. Supporters of the policy of MAD are calm and confident that destruction during the Cold War attributed this to the increase in the deadliness of war to the point where it no longer offers the possibility of a net gain for either side, that way making wars pointless.
The most reasonable approach given by various world leaders to accomplish world peace, security, and stability are to disarm in a dual process, where nations cease the creation of new weapons that pose a threat and withdraw the destructive devices currently on the table. The ownership of mighty military power will always cause uncertainty, meaning retaliation will always take place, simply because the weapons exist in the hands of the enemy. Small countries like Iran have a sense of endangerment and feel threatened by being demilitarized of nuclear arms, therefore they are motivated to counter that kind of opposition. In 1991 negotiations were completed by the United States and the USSR to reach the famous agreement known as SALT. The acronym stands for Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, which refers to major bilateral conferences that included cold war superpowers to reach a limitation treaty on nuclear arms and disarm nations from the incredible number of weapons in their nuclear arsenal. Negotiations of this treaty started taking place back in the 1960’s, however, it was never ratified until the Reagan administration was finally able to seal the deal with the Russians as both parties concluded the benefits of it.
The UN intends to achieve world peace by using a military alliance and forming a force that will retaliate any injustice in the world. This plan has failed according to generals responsible for peace missions, and they have not achieved peace. However, a nation’s own system is what usually determines whether peace will dominate, or conditions of living remain in chaos. This includes a country’s economic system and policies as well as political ideology.
The democratic system of government is the most successful of its nature, and as Americans, we often take that for granted. It is important that we keep the legacy of America’s Fathers a living and positive one because it has truly changed the world, and their ideology is certainly one to look up to and learn from. In my experience, my country beheaded and killed suspects on the spot as a form of justice for any suspicious activities or simple allegation, while that happens today in 2017, the Founding Fathers were concerned about the rights of criminals as citizens and guaranteed a “speedy trial” (Sixth Amendment) right because it would too inhumane to leave a suspect waiting. Due process rights are carved in the American ideal of justice, making this government system nothing but a role model for every country in the world.
In modern history, economic conflicts sparked most of the violent wars, and certainly the major ones. Nazi Germany intended to have more “living space’ according to Hitler as he stated in his book “Mein Kampf”, which directly translates to “my struggle”. It was blatantly mentioned that the war Hitler started was to take back “stolen” territories by the allies back in WWI, proving that a significant part of promoting peace is ending the war with fair ramifications for both sides of the aisle. In case of injustice, a massive fightback took place, which by many historians was expected, but certainly was overlooked by other political experts.
The last factor impacting stability throughout the world is economic freedom. China faces major instability within its borders as a result of censorship and economic infringement. Generally speaking, capitalist nations witness higher standards of living and fewer wars, specifically domestic ones, since the system is based on competition and collateral damage is unwanted and slows down the process. According to Ayn Rand, “Capitalism gave mankind the longest period of peace in history—a period during which there were no wars involving the entire civilized world—from the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815 to the outbreak of World War I in 1914”. This period is also well known as the industrial revolution, where the world was busy advancing, instead of regressing.
The world came together after World War II to never forget the catastrophic event of that war and allied to promote international peace through summits, meetings, and action if necessary. That goal has to be followed and achieved in order to truly correct our mistakes that we supposedly learn from history. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” which cannot be more accurate in every scenario, and has to be more implemented to at least reduce the ongoing 29 conflicts.
We require a shift in our way of life far from the acknowledgment of war, and we require steady changes that assist us getting there. The opposition to a U.S war on Syria at this time has seen smaller marches and protests than the ones were held in 2003 against a U.S-driven war on Iraq, yet more support in the surveys, more understanding inside the military and the legislative branches, and more comprehension by elected authorities. This is to some degree the consequence of the previous decade of arranging and educating. A great deal of work that has appeared to be useless to individuals at the time has been paying off as far as a move in the public attitude and thinking.
Several years back, National Public Radio met a weapons official. Asked what he would do if the enormously productive occupation of Afghanistan were to end, he answered that he wished there could be an occupation of Libya. He was obviously joking. Furthermore, he didn’t get his desire —yet. In any case, jokes don’t appear unexpectedly. Had he joked about raping kids or racism his remarks or comments would not have disclosed and would have been prevented from being published. However, joking about starting another war is acknowledged in our way of life as a proper joke. Interestingly, mocking war as desirable is simply incomprehensible and bizarre, also not to mention unfunny. With such mindsets and people in power, I think we have a long way to go in ending or at least controlling wars.