Sunday, January 01, 2006

The End of War?

I think that this may be the last century blighted by war. Consider that 100 years ago the great powers were willing, even eager, to fight each other. Today, none of the great powers have any desire to go to war with another.

Almost all recent international wars were created by powerful countries (usually the U.S. [reference]) invading smaller ones. Furthermore, with the exception of some U.S. invasions, all cross-border aggression in recent decades have failed. Failure doesn't tend to repeat, so most of the problem invovles restraining the U.S. This the American people have the power to do and, in spite of recent setbacks, I have great faith in America. As Churchill is once reported to have said "America always does the right thing, having first exhausted the alternatives."

This leaves civil wars, who's erradication may consume most of the century. Fortunately, the rapid expansion of world-wide prosperity and the increasing ubiquity of very powerful information technology is making oppression and corruption more and more difficult to execute. Combine this with a general acceptance of democracy as the preferred form of government since the defeat of the Communism in the Cold War, and we should see substantially reduced oppression and better government leading to fewer civil wars.

Background information:

* The great powers of a hundred years ago, England, France, Germany, Russia, Austro-Hungary, Turkey and Italy, went into World War I willingly and with great enthusiasm.

* Today's great powers include the U.S., England, France, Russia, China, and Japan.

* Recent invasions include Grenada, Panama, Haiti (twice), Iraq (twice), Afghanistan (twice), Iran, Kuwait, Chad, Falklands, and Tibet.

* Recent invasion failures include the Soviets in Afghanistan, Libya in Chad, Iraq in Iran, Iraq in Kuwait, and Argentina in the Falklands.

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