The world is a scary place. Within the last week or so, North Korea tried to shoot a nuclear-capable rocket
over my head, India boasted the ability to nuke China's major cities
and the Sudanese have fully embraced a quasi-civil-war
. It seems that arms races, whether high tech or low, are still the means by which countries seek to resolve differences and strategically position themselves for international diplomacy.
I believe it is safe to say that the UN has been an unmitigated failure in its primary mission to achieve world peace. Of course, that was a tall order to begin with. The EU has been generally stable in Western and Central Europe - although, following the two world wars for which that area is chiefly responsible, they were due for a few years of peace and we should wait a little longer to determine if theirs is to be an enduring peace. It is a fretful thought to consider that modern terrorism has not actually replaced traditional nation-based warfare, only accentuated and complemented it.
The world presently attempts to provide disincentives for arms-races and war-like aggression in the form of sanctions, but they have proved largely ineffective. Sanctions often weigh heaviest on the weak and ignorant. Further, poverty breeds desperation. It has always been rich and powerful nations which (after a bit of conquering and colonization) have instituted lasting peace. Such is was during the Pax Romana
, Pax Ecclesiae
and Pax Britannica
. Attempts to equalize nations - or, in Obama's words, to level the playing field - foolishly seek to depress nations into a posture ripe for conflict.
Until we find a better trans-national solution or men are ruled by their better angels, my hope for world peace remains the pragmatic Pax Americana
. Our abdication of the leading role in peace-keeping through superior diplomatic, economic and military power destabilizes global truces and imperils world peace. America as "world policeman" is still the best option on the table.