Now that we have a fairly clear idea of what it is we
should set up and establish in the world in order to ensure a permanent
state of peace, we can go on to consider the best way to go about it:
The worst plan
In my opinion the worst plan would be for everyone to agree that this
would be a good idea, give up all their weapons of mass destruction, and
combine all their armies into one big army. Why? That would be just too
chaotic; it would not permit adequate attention being given to the matter of
the right character and discipline being instilled in the troops, and there
would be a period of transition when the world would be in a very vulnerable
state if anyone was inclined to take advantage of it.
In any case, we shall probably be a long time waiting for this plan to
have universal approval and agreement to the extent that this could happen.
The first preparation
Its already been pointed out that one possible first move towards this
objective would be the establishment of an international chain of cadet
corps where young people could be trained and prepared with the character,
values and discipline that are essential for the establishment of this
army. The focus of this cadet corps could be on health and fitness
education; there would be no need at this stage for any military training,
which should in any case only be reserved for those who can satisfactorily
pass out of this cadet training.
This would be a quite safe and innocuous first step, it could be
undertaken whether or not there was any real commitment to going through
with the plan, and as it would involve the development and character of
young people it would be a worthwhile undertaking in itself, irrespective of
the greater picture it could be part of.
The same curriculum could also be made available to the soldiers of any
army should they care to follow it, in this way they could prepare
themselves to be selected for the amalgamated army when it is brought into
being. This also would be a worthwhile undertaking in itself; creating
better soldiers in the interim period.
The first step
Now let's consider two countries that are adjacent to each other; any two
it doesn't matter which. It does matter though, that they be fairly good
neighbours and get on with each other. Each one presumably has an army of a
certain size and capacity, and a various array of weapons. Let's say that
they approved this plan; decided to combine both their armies into one unit
(possibly under the direction and control of the UN), and charged it with
the mission of defending both countries at its own discretion (subject to it
having sufficient character, integrity and intelligence to do so).
These two countries have now given themselves two immediate advantages:
- They are never going to be at war with each other.
- They now have an army double in size and capacity, with twice the
array of weapons to defend themselves than they had before.
This wouldn't be an undertaking of any great difficulty, nor would it
leave anyone in a state of vulnerability whilst is was being completed.
After that had been done, and conditions were allowed to settle down, and
everyone could see that there weren't any problems with this amalgamated
army, a third country might come along and request admission into this
little coalition. The advantages to all parties being: an even larger army
to defend themselves with, and two less countries to ever be engaged in war
Further countries, one by one, could request admission into this
coalition as and when they saw fit; for the same advantages, which clearly
are going to be greater with each additional member. Ideally, eventually
every country would want to join, after which the great reductions in size
and elimination of WMD's could be instigated.
Needless to say, we cannot count on every country wishing to join in this
way, and there is and can only be one way to deal with those that don't want
to: that is, let them abstain. This is not going to an
aggressive army; it is only going to exist for the purpose of defence and
protection. It is not going to emulate Alexander the Great; spreading across
the world conquering any army it encounters and incorporating it into its
ranks. It is very important that everybody on all sides understands and has
confidence that this going to be the case. The option is there for countries
to join if they want to: they would be free to stay out if they don't. We
don't want any would-be adventurers taking control of this army and going on
the rampage with it.
However, should any of these abstainers also prove to be aggressors
against any member of the coalition, that would be a different matter
entirely. They would have to be beaten into submission, then
forced to surrender their arms and disband their army. The coalition would
then move in and take over defending that country, at the same time as
ensuring that it did not cause any more trouble. In this case there would
be no need to change the government or interfere with the running of that
country in any way.
A situation could easily occur, whereby one country of superior power,
invades the territory of a weaker , less equipped neighbour (I believe there
is such a situation in the world at the moment). The stronger country
arrogantly ignores all petitions and directives to get back on its own side
of the fence, and the weaker country can do nothing except make protests by
blowing things up and otherwise expressing their resentment of the invasion.
Under this plan, the weaker nation could apply to join the coalition in
order to have them throw their stronger, aggressive neighbour out of their
country. The coalition could even take away the military power of that
country as indicated above in order to ensure that they didn't do anything
like it again.
It would be far better however, in any situation of conflict or potential
conflict, say for example, if it ever happened that two neighbouring
countries were in dispute over certain territories, and were lined up facing
each other on the brink of war, ready to obliterate each other completely
rather than concede a little bit of land, as did India and Pakistan quite
recently, that these countries both
opted to join the coalition. That way the problem could be resolved with a
minimum loss of life and the dispute settled by a fair and impartial third
A further matter for consideration is the question of revolutions, civil
wars and military coups. Needless to say, any country already in the
coalition will be protected from such events and situations. However,
countries experiencing such problems might request admission into the
coalition in order to resolve such conflicts. The question is: which side
does the coalition sanction and support? It is of course the issue of
self-appointed governments and what to do about them. This is probably the
most difficult can of worms that the policy makers of the amalgamated army
are going to have to deal with.
For my part I would say that any country with a self-appointed government
should be allowed to join the coalition unconditionally, however they must
understand that the United Nations (or whoever else makes the international
laws) might legislate that they have to change their form of government at a
In the matter of revolutions and other uprisings, this coalition can
neither be an instrument of oppression of the population, nor can it
support any activity orchestrated to overthrow an existing government. The
only course of action it would have open to it would be to move in (when
invited by any party) take control of the situation, and organise an
election to decide the matter. Please note I have said: 'When invited by any
party', I am not proposing that it be another agency of aggression,
bulldozing democracy into every nook and cranny of the political world.
The final stages
Eventually the situation is going to occur, whereby everyone who is going
to join this coalition has joined, and anyone who has not so far joined
never will. This is potentially a very dangerous state of affairs,
especially as I imagine that the ultimate abstainers are likely to be a
superpower such as China or the USA. For this reason it is of the utmost
importance that everyone has confidence that this coalition is not an
aggressive body, and poses no threat to those countries remaining outside,
whatever their politics.
Assuming that the coalition was now large and powerful enough, the United
Nations could however, count on it to enforce certain rules and regulations:
'No weapons of mass destruction', for example. In any case, once the world
had got to this stage, and everyone could see that the situation was stable,
any country outside the coalition would probably be only too happy to cut
back on its weapons and military expenditure. The fact is, with the
coalition there to be called upon in an emergency, these countries could
give up there arms entirely without any problems, so they would in effect
join the coalition eventually anyway.
When that happy day arrives, there could then begin the cutbacks on size
and expenditure of the coalition, and the economic advantages of living in a
world at peace be realised. This brings us to another very important point
in the matter of this amalgamated, international army:
Who is going to pay for it?
The obvious arrangement would be for every nation to pay a standard
annual figure to cover the cost of this army defending its borders, but this
creates two problems:
- No two nations are the same size, so some would be getting better
value than others.
- This would actually mean most countries spending more on
their defence budgets not less.
The fact is that according to figures provided by SIPRI*, 82% of all
military spending is undertaken by just fifteen countries; that means the
other 18% is spread between the one hundred and seventy-seven that remain.
Life would be very simple if these fifteen countries were the first ones to
agree to form the coalition; they could accommodate most of the costs
themselves, and still end up saving a lot of money. However, in my books the
countries least likely to want to join rank amongst these fifteen countries,
so we cannot count on that being the case at all.
Initially, no country should be asked to spend more than it already does
on its annual defence budget, after all, the less money it is allocating to
military expenditure, the less potential problem it is in the world anyway.
After the coalition was properly formed and reductions could begin to be
made, perhaps the best way would be for each country to pay pro-rata to that
which they were spending on defence before. This might not be exactly fair,
but at least every country would be spending less than it was before and
saving money. Of course, with a country such as the United States, who
account for a whopping 42% of all military spending in the world, there
would be considerable scope for adjustment in this arrangement so that they
did not bear quite such the brunt of the cost themselves.
This then gives some indication of how a centralised, amalgamated army
could be set-up and made to happen; it would of course be quite a long term
undertaking, but then, nothing good was ever done in a hurry.
On the next page we shall discuss two political situations in the world
that could present a great opportunity for the establishment of the
amalgamated army that we are considering.
*SIPRI Year Book 2004 : Oxford University Press.