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EM 12 



Copyrighl 1?44 


This pamphlet is one of a series made available by the War 
Department under die scries title G. 1. Rotindtablc. As the pcin'ral 
title indicates, (,. /. lhiaudl<thle pamphlets provide material whirh 
orien tation and education officers may use in rnnducting group dis- 
cussions or forunis. at part of an off-duty education program. 

The eon tent of each pamphlet has been approved hy the His- 
torical Service Board of the American Historical Assoc lilt ion. 

Spftifte fitgg#stit>tn jot the diieuision </t fotum teadet toho plant 
to fhis pamphlet n-i!l hi: jound on page 24. 

Washington 25, D. G„ 13 August 1944. 

EM I2 V G. I. RouTidtabte: Can We Prevent Future Wart? is 
published for the information or all concerned. 

[A.G. 300.7 {19 Aug 44).] 

By order of the Secretary Off War: 


Chief o/ Staff. 


J. A. UI.IO, 

Major General, 

The Adjutant General. 

Distribution: X 
(Additional copies should he requisitioned from USAFI, Madison, 
Wisconsin, or nearest Overseas Branch.) 

The two 
Nations t 

1. WIN 


e United 



Can We Prevent 
Future Wars? 

X *- I 1 1 iver the world people arc fighting and dying, suf- 
fering and sacrificing, praying and purposing that "It must not and 
si] all not happen again." Freedom from war has become the first 
essential of human well-being. 

Much more is involved, of course, than the simple absence of war, 
But without peace there can be no solid ground on which to build 
just and lawful relation;; between nations or to protect peoples 
against enslavement. On Freedom from war depend just and kindly 
relations among men, progress in knowledge and the arts, safety, 
prosperity, and the preservation of civilization. 

Men have invented bigger and "better" weapons of destruction. 
The world has been shrinking in site. Countries have become more 
and more dependent on one another for the things they need. The 
distinction between combatants and non Combatants has been almost 
erased. These are some of the causes that have made modern w« 
so ruinous and so monstrous. If after two world wars within a 
quarter century men are still unable to find the way to peace, hu- 
man intelligence will have gone bankrupt. 

Everybody has a stake in solving the problem of how to prevent 
war- — but nobody understands the need better than those now serv- 
ing in the armed forces. They know what modern war really is. 
They know what General Sherman meant when he said "War js 
hell." They don't want their sons to go through what they are go- 
ing through or the even worse experiences of a future war. 

But we face no simple or easy problem. People have tried before 

lo find a way of preventing war, but they have not succeeded. If 
the problem can be solved a! all, one thing is certain: It will not 
be solved without ;t lot of hard thinking. And it isn't enough tu 
leave this hard thinking lo a Tew statesmen and scholars. In a 
democracy these are not the people who settle the great issues- They 
can only be settled by the will of the majority. And they can be 
settled wisely only if the majority are willing to think about them 
coolly and carefully and to weigh the arguments for and against 
any proposed ways of settling them. 

This pamphlet is intended Tor soldier discussion groups — for 
soldiers interested in doing some thinking and talking about th^ 
questions: Is there any way of preventing; future wars? Why have 
previous attempts to prevent war failed? What proposals are now 
being made for preventing wars or for reducing their frequency, 
extent, duration, and destructivencss tothc lowest possible minimum? 

Some decisions have already been mudc by our own and other 
governments as to what shall be done toward safeguarding peace 
in the future. 


The governments of the four principal United Nations have 
agreed that some international organization to preserve the peace- 
must be formed after the war. By the Declaration of Moscow 
(October 1943) these governments, through then foreign ministers 
(Secretary Hull representing the United States), announced, "That 
they recognize the necessity of establishing at the earliest practicable 
date a general international organization, based on the principle of 
the sovereign equality of all peace-loving states, and open to mem- 
bership by all such states, large and small, for the maintenance of 
international peace and security." 

In the Connally Resolution, passed on Novembers, 1943 3 the Sen- 
ate of the United States almost unanimously endorsed and adopted 
this same declaration. And a month later at Teheran President 
Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and I'rcmicr Stalin "recognized 

the responsibility resiling upon us and all the United Nations to 
make a peace that will . . . banish the scourer and terror of war 
For many generations," 

Cooperation in .setting up a permanent association of nations (or 
the purpose' of preventing future wars may therefore be taken as 
the settled policy of the "United States, us well its of China, Great 
Britain, and the Soviet Union. And the character of tins organiza- 
tion has also been partly settled: (a) it will not Ik- limited to a few 
great powers:, but will be open also to (lit- smaller nations; (b) it will 
recognize the ''sovereign equality of ;ill peace-loving states"; and 
(e) it will be formed as soon H possible after the war. Just what 
"sovereign equality" will mean in practice is not yet entirely clear. 
Tin 1 "earliest practicable date" for starting the organization is still 
to be settled by agreement among the countries, concerned. 

These derisions are of greal Importance as a first step toward the 
goal or lusting peace. But they are of course- only a nr*t step; by 
themselves they do not give us any assurance thai that goal will be 
reached. For the same step was taken once before- — though without 
the partictpalion of the United Slates. Twenty-five years ago most 
of the nations or the world joined in organizing a League lo main- 
tain international peace and security. Everybody knows how com- 
pletely it failed to accomplish that purpose. Most of the govern- 
ments that Formed il had Ac best intentions; but good intentions 
are not enough. 

One Failure Does Not Mean 
It Cannot Be Done 

The failure of the old League is, of course, no reason for giving 
up the effort to safeguard peace. Il would be foolish to stop trying 
to soTve the most important and urgent of iill our practical problems 
merely because the first serious attempt to solve it faiied- The in- 
ventors of the airplane first built a numlier of unsuccessful models. 
These failures did not cause them to throw up their hands in de- 
spair. They just looked for the bugs in the models that would not 

work, until finally they found how to build a machine thai would 
actually fly — though it did not, at first, fly very far. 

But since the first model of an orga nidation for international 
peace did not work, it is clear that— if thai problem is to be solved 
— it is necmary to discover why the first one Failed to work and to 
find, if possible, a better model. We must seek to understand better 
than was understood in 1919 how an international organization 
should be constituted and what means it must use for preventing 
wars if it is to be at .ill effective. And about this we can learn 
-■ioim-lhing from pas! mistakes. 


Some ways of working toward a desired result may be useful or 
even necessary without being sufficient, hi the treatment of a dis- 
ease, a doctor may use several remedies, all of them needful or at 
least helpful, but no one of them alone capable of curing the pa- 
tient. In dealing with the problem of peace, people sometimes forget 
this simple point. They observe thai something or other would un- 
deniably help toward peace, or it might even be indispensable. Then 
they present this as a remedy for the disease of war, without seri- 
ously considering -whether it alone would he sufficient. But what we 
want to know is. what means, if any — a single one or a combination 
of different ones — might be sufficient to prevent wars of aggression. 
And we ait concerned only with means which an international 
organization, such as the Declaration of Moscow promises, could 
use for this purpose. 

Means That Have Already Been Tried 
and Have Failed 

There are some means of preventing war which have been tried 
in the past and have proved insufficient (though some of them may 
still be useful or necessary). These are: 

1 , Promises Not To Go to Was. Every member of the League 

of Nations promiw-d "not to resort Id war" against any other mrm- 
brr unless thai member itself had already gone to war in violation of 
the Covenant of thr League, which required that all disputes should 
first be submitted to the World Court or the League -Council for 
decision. Each member promised aJjo to "respect the territorial 
integrity and existing political independence" of all member coun- 
tries. These promises were broken by Japan in 1931-32, in attacking 
China, and by Italy in IMS, when it invaded Ethiopia. 

Thus the history of the League showed — as miRbt have hrrn ex- 
pected — that little can be accomplished merely hy pitting nations 
into an organization in which they give pledges to ftnf another not 
to commit aggression*. The peiice-desiring majority of nations will 
respect such promises, hut (he minority the countries that are de- 
termined Oil — give such promises merely to quiet suspi- 
cion until they are ready to attack. Prnmises to keep the peace. 
then, though they are doubtless desirable and even necessary, are 
certainly not sufficient to prevent war. 

2. Rp.inrnTtoN nr Armaments. Of tourer, if aH countries 
agreed to disarm completely— and kept their agreements — there 
could be no wars. But countries have nevtr been willing to do this, 
and there is no reason to believe that they will be after this war. 
Attempts have been made, however, to hrinc about a reduction of 
armaments hy international agreement, with the idea that this might 
at least ni:ike wars less frequent and less destructive. These attempts 
have never resulted in more than verv slight arms reductions; and 
ems if war'Weary and impoverished nations agreed after the present 
war to more substantial reductions, the question would still remain 
whether all would keep the agreements. 

So long as there are some countries disposed to aggression it seems 
rnrtain that they would no more keep promises to limit their arma- 
ments lh;in they would keep promises not to go to war — unless some 
means can be found to force them to do so. So long as agreements 
for reducing armaments an- not enforced, they serve only to put 

peace able and treaty-keeping nations ;il the merry of aggressor 
stales which have secretly or openly wanned in disregard of thosi' 

3. Machinery for the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes 
between Nations. Wars would evidently be prevented if nations 
brought all their disputes or their claims against one another before 
some permanent and impartial international bc>dv for peaceful set- 
tlement. To be successful, however, this melhod depends on two 
conditions: (1) that all states would voluntarily agree to refer their 
disputes to such bodies for settlement, and (2) that they would 
always comply in good faith with decisions against them as well an 
decisions in their favor. 

.Such agencies for peaceful settlement hit clearly a necessary pari 
of the set-up of an international organb-ation. Disagreements or 
disputes between countries are certain In arise from time to time, 
and: they must he settled in some fair and orderly way if they are 
not to be settled by righting — by the power of the stronger over the 
weaker. That means that there must be an international court — 
or court 1 ; — to which claims based on international law, or disputes 
about the meaning nf treaties, can be submitted. It means also 
that there must be other agencies for dealing with controversies on 
matters not yet covered by international law. Changes in the rela- 
tions of one country with another may become necessary in the 
future, and some way has to be provided for making these changes 
peaceably. But the whole question of how international disputes 
are to be settled before nations resort to force is outside the scope 
of the present pamphlet. We are considering here simply the means 
that may be used (q pfgtftttt nations that will not try or abide by a 
peaceful settlement from rt totting to hot, 

4. Economic Penalties against Aggressors. None of the 
three means so far mentioned involves any use of force against 
countries threatening or attempting aggression. It is, or has been, 
believed by some that the use of some kind of force by an interna- 

clonal organization is necessary to prevent wars, but that what may- 
be called "economic force" will be sufficient. They point out lhat a 
country cannot carry on modern war successfully wjtliout the use 
of manufactures, foodstuffs, raw materials, and the like, which it 
dots not itself produce or possess. Therefore, it is argued, if a 
sufficient number of peace- desiring nations pledge themselves not 
to export their products to any aggressor country, aggressions will 
be doomed to failure!. They will therefore either not be tried, or if 
tried, will be quickly put down. 

Those who do not believe this to be a sufficient preventive of war 
point out: first, that a country bent upon aggression can pile up in 
advance sufficient materials For a war of some years' duration, and 
a powerful aggressor state may he able to accomplish its purpose 
before its accumulated stock is exhausted ; second, that a state which 
has begun an aggression will use military force .against states' — ^.spe- 
cially against weak neighboring states — from which it e;in obtain 
the materials it lacks (as Germany did against some small countries 
in Europe, and Japan did against the Netherlands Indies). 

This method, also, has been actually tried once without success. 
The countries belonging to the League of Nations were pledged to 
lin-.ik off "all trade and financial relations" with any state which 
should go to war in violation of its agreements. They were also 
supposed to prevent "all financial, personal or commercial inter- 
course" with that state, whether by their own citizens or by the 
citizens of any other state. 

In 1935 Italy went to war against Ethiopia in violation of the 
League Covenant. Italy, of course, knew of this pledge (and was 
in fact a party to it) but did not believe that the other members 
of the League would fulfill it. As a matter of fact, sis weeks after 
Ethiopia was invaded fifty member countries did agree to impose 
some economic penalties on Italy. But they did not refuse to export 
to her the supplies, such as oil, which she needed most for carrying 
on the war, and the attempt to stop her soon petered out. 

Nn attempt was made to stop the aggressions of Japan and Ger- 
many in the 1930's by cutting them off from trade and financial 

relations with the rest of the world, because of she general belief 
that this would probably lead to war. States strong in both eco- 
noinicand military resources are more .likely to go to war than to 
heed threats of economic penalties, unless the nations applying such 
penalties are willing and able to back them up, at need, with mili- 
tary force. In that case it is the military and not the economic 
threat which is effective. 

Since these four means have been tried — not merely separately 
but in combination— and have completely failed to accomplish their 
purpose, a new international organization which relies upon them 
alone cannot be expected to '"banish the scourge and terror of war 
for many gen era.! ions." I* there a Pieans which has not been tried, 
and which secim likely to be more effective than these others have 
been? Many people think there is, and urge that it be adopted as 
the one remaining hope of lasting peace. Other people either doubt 
that it would be effective, or for other reasons oppose its adoption. 
We must now, therefore, consider this question. 

An International Armed Force as a Means 

of Preventing Wars 

The hitherto untried means now being proposed is that the future 
international organization shall have at its disposal an armed force 
to use against countries committing aggressions- Advocates of this 
proposal say that it is as absurd to expect to preserve general peace 
and order among Nations without having some sort of for« avail- 
able for that purpose as it would be to expect to- preserve general 
peace and order uniung individuals without a police force. 

It is true, they admit, that fear of the policeman is probably Jiot 
the chief reason why most individuals do not assault or rob their 
neighbors. And it is perhaps true that most nations would not 
attack their neighbors even if there were no international peace- 
enforcing agency. But in the community of nations, as in nearly 
all communities of individuals, there is always a rninwity who will 
violate the law and try to take what they want by force if they 

think they can get away with it. Therefore, it is argued, the only 
way to safeguard peace — in a community of nations as of individ- 
uals — is to have a l'orce > controlled by law and acting for the whole 
community, strong enough to take care of any disturbers of the 
peace. In the Case of nations, it h said, no aggressions would be 
likely to be tried at all, if the international peace force were known 
to be strong enough to ensure the- defeat of any aggressor. For no 
government starts a war that it knows, it is practically certain to lose. 
Those who favor Urn general proposal disagree as to how it should 
be worked out. There are three main types of plan for an inter- 
national armed force. 

1 , A Purely International Police Force. According to 00*- 
plan, that force would be very much like an ordinary police, force, 
except that it would act against bw-breaking nations instead of 
individuals. Its personnel would consist of volunteers, selectively 
recruited for limited terms directly by the international organiza- 
tion, and exclusively under the command of officials appointed by 
that organization. Admission to it would be open to young men of 
all countries who could meet high standards of physical and mental 
ability and moral character. Care would lie taken, however, not to 
have an undue proportion from any one country. 

The inducements to enlist would include educational advantages, 
especially in engineering and aviation, as well as high pay. Its 
members would be constantly trained to regard themselves as guard- 
ians of world peace. During their term of service they would owe 
allegiance only t" the international organisation, not to their native 
countries. Units of the force would be stationed at strategic points 
in various parts of the world. They could be ordered into action 
against a state attempting aggression only by a vote of the member 
states of the international organization or of some body authorized 
by it to issue such orders. 

Bat such ;m international police would be effective for its purpose 
only if it were stronger than the armed forces of any aggressor. 
Those whn favor this- particular plan therefore usually also propose 

ways nf making sure that the international force will bo stronger. 
One such proposal is that the nations Ix'lnnging to the 
organization shall give up all "heavy" weapons — military aircraft, 
tanks, heavy artillery, warships — leaving these weapons to be used 
exclusively by the international police force, and retaining only such 
light weapons a S may be needed for keeping order at home. A 
somewhat less extreme proposal is that the international force shall 
have a monopoly only of military aircraft. This, some experts think, 
would he enough to enable it to defeat quickly any country which — 
with no air force — should attempt aggression. 

Those who reject this plan do so mainly because these proposals 
mean virtual disarmament of national st;ites. They say, first, that 
it is practically certain that no great nation will, in the near future, 
consent to give up having an army and navy and air force of its 
own — to leave its national security wholly to a force which it does 
not control. And second, they say that if the international police 
force were thus given sole or supreme military power, it might jlwlf 
become a danger to mankind. Ambitious commander* of it might, 
in the course of time, seek to use it for their own purposes, and we 
might sec again the situation which existed in the later days of the 
Roman Empire — a world ruled by an army. 

Supporters of this plan say that the alleged danger is imaginary. 
The central command «f the international police force would be 
appointed and could be removed by an international body in. which 
all nations would be represented, or by a commission appointed by 
it, and this civilian body alone would he authorized to call the force 
into action. The personnel of the force, drawn from many countries 
and sworn to loyalty to the international authority, would be very 
ufklikefy to obey orders from their commander to attack their own 
countries in behalf of his amhitions; and the units of the force would 
be situntcd in widely scattered parts nf the world, under local com- 
manders nf different mil ionFiIi ties. Joint action of such units to co- 
erce or override the international civil authority would, it is argued, 
he improliakle and scarcely possible. Consequently — advocates of 
this plan maintain — the proposed international police force wouM 

be no more dangerous to the international <x>mmunity, and the 
stales composing it, than the citizen armies or constabularies of 
modern states are to their respective national communities. 

2. An International Force Drawn from the Armies of 
the States Belonging to the Organization. Those who believe 
that peace must be backed by force but reject the plan for a purely 
international police force propose that the countries which are mem- 
bers of the international organization should pledge themselves to 
place their own national forces, or contingents from them, at the 
disposal of the international organization. This woufcd not involve 
the disarmament of the nations. They would still have their own 
armies, navies, and air forces, equipped with all kinds of weapons, 
and these forces could be used by them as a first line of defense to 
resist sudden invasion from a neighboring country. But they would 
rt.ll he hound by treaty to use their national forces also to defend one 
another against any aggressor — and to leave it to the international 
organization (in which they would all be represented) to decide 
when an aggression is being attempted. 

This sort of joint international force would be rather more like 
a sheriff's posse than a regular, established police force. Its units, 
the national armies— like the individual citizens of A county— would 
not be engaged in international police duty unless summoned to 
help preserve the peace. But they would be legally obligated to 
obey the summons of the international organization to help put 
down an aggression, just as individual citizens, arc obligated to obey 
the summons of a sheriff to help put down a riot or make an arrest. 

The League of Nations plan contained a provision of this sort. 
Its members promised not only to "respect" but also to "preserve as 
against external aggression the territorial integrity arid existing po- 
litical independence of al] members of the League." It might seem, 
therefore, that this means for safeguarding peace has also been tried 
and has failed. But those who favor such a plan say that there were 
certain defects in the constitution of the League, loopholes in the 
provisions for the organization and use of the joint international 

force, which made the failure of the Ltraguc inrvilahlr. These 
defects can be corrected, ihcy maintain, mid if they art', a plan of 
this kind could not only give ..ill nations far stronger means of 
defense against aggressors, but probably could actually prevent wars 
by making aggression too dangerous to attempt. 

What Were the Weak Points in the 
League Plan? 

We must therefore note what these weak points in the old League 
were, and what proposals have been made for eliminating them. 

A. Though the members of the League promised 10 "protect" 
one another, they did not promise to provide any actual forces 
which the League could use for this purpose. The Council nf the 
League was authorized to "recommend" to member stales whal 
forces they should contribute to a joint international army when 
one was needed to preserve the peace. Bui the member states wen' 
left entirely free to disregard these recommendations if they chose. 
There was always a. possibility. ;ind in fact a probability, that seme 
states would disregard them for one rrason or another. 

But any international organisation lo enforce peace will inevi- 
tably be ineffective if there is no certainly H to what forces it will 
have available when the need arises. To make it effective, the first 
thing neces.iary— though not sufficient — is that each of its members 
shall be bound by a definite pledge (o place its own army and navy. 
or such part of them as may be required, prompt!)' at the disposal 
of the organisation, whenever joint action against an aggressor hah 
become necessary. It is proposed by some, therefore, that a binding 
contract to this effect shall lie included in the constitution of any 
new league of nations. 

B. But the weakness just mentioned, in the Covenant of the old 
League, was not the actual cause of the League's failure. For no 
recommendation or request to the member states to contribute 
forces for action against an aggressor was ever made. No summon? 
to join the posse was ever issued. 

Thi- fact brings out the really fatal weakness in the League. It 
was thai most of the governments of member stales, especially 
some of the great powers, were not willing, despite the flagrant and 
related aggressions committed in the 1930's by Japan, Italy, and 
Germany, to vote for the use of military force. Any country that 
voted for League action to stop these international crimes would 
have had to provide a part of the needed force itself. That is, it 
would have had to go to war against Japan or Italy or Germany. 
Nearly all of them did in the end become involved in war with these 
aggressor countries, and some of them with all three at once. If the 
League had announced with assurance of action, when the first 
aggression was being attempted, that the armies and navies of all 
its loyal member .states would be used to any extent necessary to 
defeat the aggressor, the present World War — in the opinion of 
many students of international affairs — would have been prevented. 
But as nothing of this sort was done, the criminally inclined! govern- 
ments of Japan, Italy, and Germany saw that they had nothing to 
fear from the League. They went on to commit one aggression after 
another, and got away with them. Finally, the situation became so 
threatening to the countries that remained tin-conquered that they 
(including the United States) were forced to unite for mutual de- 
fense. But by thii time the aggressors had become so strong that 
they could only be defeated at an enormous expense of biood and 
treasure. The League was like a sheriff who, when a dangerous 
"public enemy" has broken loose in the community, refuses, through 
fear or some other reason, even to call on citizens to form a posse. 

Stale of Mind Is the Important Thing 

This weakness in the League of Nations is not one which can be 
cured simply by new rules and regulations or new machinery for 
{■riforcing peaee. For no machinery is of any use without the will 
to use it; and It was the will to use foree to stop aggressions that 
was lacking. If a futuTp international organization is to be more 
effective than the old League was, there must first of all he a change 

in the itate cj mind of [he governments and peoples of tin- countries 
which are members of it- — or at least of the peace-loving majority 
of them. 

Even in 1919-39 the great majority of nations genuinely wanted 
peace, and together they had. or could have had, enough military 
strength to overpower any would-be aggressor- But they were like u 
sick person who wants trrrihly to be cured of hi* disease, but can't 
bear to swallow the only medicine that will cure it. They were, not 
willing to do two things that were necessary to ensure peace: to 
cooperate in good faith in providing men iind armaments for the 
international force, and to make it certain in advance that this force 
would be called promptly into action if any aggression was .it- 
tempted anywhere. 

Some students of the peace problem, however, think that the 
unwillingness to take action which was fatal to the old League* was 
largely due to a mistake in the original plan of the League and in 
its organization — a mistake which could In- corrected. 

Can Enforcement Be Made Automatic? 

Under the League Covenant, decisions as to whether or not force 
should be used lo -.tup an aggression wen: made by the Council. 
'['his w,is made U|j of delegates appointed by the government* in 
power at any given time, and these delejinle* were mainly diplomat, 
or political officials. For tin- most part they approached questions 
before the Counril ,i> representatives of the special interests of their 
own countries. The question as to whether anything should be done 
when a country was threatened with aggression thus became, for 
the HfMCHIitfttnra of ihc other countries, a question of policy. They 
thought first of how their own countries, or the political interests of 
their own governments at home, would be affected by a decision to 
take vigorous action in defense of the victim. The Council's con- 
clusions were therefore leached chiefly through negotiation, pres- 
sure, intrigue, and compromise. They alnwl invariably ended in a 
dt-cisicjii to do nothing. 

But — those who tyke this view say — the question whether an ag- 
gression i>. occurring, and if it is, whether it should be suppressed by 
the military forces at the disposal of the international organization, 
is not, or should not be, a question of policy at all. If the world 
security system is to work effective^ such a question should be 
removed from the arena of politics and diplomacy, and be treated 
simply as a mutter of enforcing the established criminal law of ike 
community of nations. 

When a serious crime is committed in our municipalities, we don't 
call the city council or Mate legislature into session to discuss and 
decide whether to do anything about it. One can imagine that Mich 
a system of municipal law enforcement wouldn't be very efficient. 
The inefficiency of a system of international law enforcement of the 
slime kind need not be fen to the imagination; it Is shown by the 
history of the League of Nations and by the present condition of 
man kind. 

Therefore, it i.s maintained by some, if the new international 
organization is to be free from the most serious weakness of the old 
League, its constitution must (1) declare aggression to be an inter- 
national crime; (2) leave all decision* as to whether aggression is 
being committed or attempted, not to an ever-changing political 
body, bui to a permanent court whose only duty shall be to apply 
the Jaw; and (3) provide that when the court finds a country is 
engaged in aggression, it shall call upon all members of the organiza- 
tion to supply forthwith such forces as may be necessary to put 
down the aggression. 

Under these conditions, it is argued, the use of force to repress 
the crime of aggressive war will be, as nearly as is humanly possible, 
certain and automatic. But only insofar as it is known in advance 
to be certain and automatic will powerful aggressors be restrained 
from taking :i chance on getting what they want by violence- The 
aggressors of the lyiWs knew that the use of force against ihem by 
the League was more than uncertain; it was very unlikely. They 
could therefore proceed to carry out their criminal designs with 
good hope of success and impunity. 


Force Must- Be Adequate If it Is 
To Be Effective 

C Even if the peoples and governments united in an interna- 
tional organization have the will to enforce peace, one thing more 
is evidently necessary if that purpose is to be accomplished : The 
force at the command of the organization must be strong enough 
to do the job. If, in a community of individuals, the gangsters art 
more numerous and better armed than the law-abiding citizens, a 
sheriff's posse would not be of much use. In the community of 
nations, the international force must not merely be strong enough 
to have a chance of defeating any aggressor; it must be so clearly 
superior in military strength that no country or combination of 
countries will be likely to take the risk of challenging it — for only 
then would it serve to prevent war. Is there any way in which this 
could be assured, or at any rate made highly probable, so long as 
countries continue to have armies and navies of their own? 

Fortunately in no community, either of nations or individuals, are 
the gangsters likely to outnumber (he law-abiding citizens. Most 
peoples, as has been said, want to live in a peaceful and orderly 
world. It might seem, therefore, that if they would all arm them- 
selves and agree to act together to hold down the gangsters, the 
peace-loving majority could easily keep the community in order. 
But unfortunately between nations there are far greater differences 
in power — in the ability to use force — than there ever are between 
individuals. Thus a very few of the most powerful ones might be 
stronger than all the others put together. The question is, then: 
How, if at all, can we make it reasonably sure that the international 
])eacc force will be clearly stronger than any aggressive forces, even 
if one or more great powers should at some time be numbered 
among the aggressors? 

There are some who say that this cannot be done and that to 
attempt it would therefore be a dangerous mistake. For a long time 
after this war, the great powers in the military sense — the countries 
whose manpower and ability to manufacture armaments will far 

e*n-ed (host of ally other countries — will |>rct>iil>]y l>e otily thn-e; 
the United Stairs, the British Common wca I ill of Nil t ions, and Soviet 
Russia. China u> a great |H)wer, but until its industries arc much 
more fully devcIo]x.'d, it will not be among the first in military 
strength. In a longer period of time other countries may, of course, 
become great powers, too. 

If as members of an international organization the three great 
powers were pledged lo Use their national forces against any aggres- 
sor, and if one of [hem were then to commit ;m aggression itself, 
the others would be hound to go to war against it. Perhaps two 
nf them might lie on the side, of aggression. Whichever way it was. 
the war would lx' long and nn an immense scale, and it would not 
necessarily be certain in advance, that the countries supporting the 
international organization could defeat the aggressor. For the de- 
fensive strength of each of these three powers is very great — so great, 
in fact, that it would eiTi.'iihly lX 1 h:ird, and might he impossible, for 
even two of the Others to overcome it. 

In any case, if the law-abiding members nl" the international or- 
ganization fulfilled their pledges the TCsult would be another world 
war. And it ha* been argued that if they should some day have to 
face this situation, they probably would not fulfill their plrdges; they 
would find some excuse fordoing nothing. 

What Can Be Done about the 
Great Powers? 

Those who reason in this way, therefore, IkIIcvc that the idea of 
compelling any of the great powers by force, or the threat of force, 
lo obey the law must he given Up. We may hope, that none of them 
will be tempted to aggression; we can try to keep their relations 
with one another friendly and cooperative; but in their case we 
cannot rely upon force ns a means of preventing war. 

On the other hand, it will lx- easy for thr great jMiwers to prevent 
disturbances of the peace by weaker countries. They are fully able 

Hi put down aggressions by minor stales ir they wish, and they might 
well find it to their interest lo agree to do so. Then" could thus he 
established an international organization in which the smaller coun- 
tries would be protected against one another by the Big Three 
(or the Big Four), but in which there would be no guarantee of 
protection against any of the great powers, or of any of these 
against one another. 

h will probably not be disputed that if this is all that can be 
done to prevent future wars, the outlook is a gloomy one. For it 
IS, of course, agressions by powerful states that most need to tw 
prevented, became they are the most dangerous to all countries, 
large and small. It is mure important lo prevent murder than petty 

After the last war, CJennany and Japan were great powers 
though they will probably not be after this one. And in the liWO's 
the same situation existed which, under the program just outlined. 
would exist in the future. The League of Nations did suppress a 
few attempts at aggression by small countries; but its members did 
nothing to stop the aggression.* or Germany and Japan because they 
wen great powers with which it would be probably dangerous, and 
certainly expensive, to interfere. An attempt to Mop them seemed lo 
involve the risk of starting a great war. It was thin fear of war on 
the pari of the peaceful countries that ehielly explains the unwilling- 
new »r the members of the League to take any strong stand against 
Japan and Germany. 

We already know the result. Japan and Germany, finding that 
they could succeed in their first and comparatively small aggressions, 
went on to commit bigger ones, one after another, and in the end 
war came all the same. Il is a far greater and more desperate war 
than the one the League countries thought they were avoiding when 
they lacked the courage to use force to nip aggression in the hud. 
The history of the 1936*1 thus gives us a sample of what is likely 
to happen if an international organization for mutual defense and 
security is based upon the proposition that force is never to he used 
against a great power. 

Can an International Force Be Built on a 
Quota System? 

But the question still remains whether it is possible to make rea- 
sonably sure that the forces available for use by the international 
organisation will be stronger than those of any aggressor, and so 
much stronger that aggression will be too dangerous to be at- 
tempted, even by a great power. Two means for accomplishing this 
have been suggested. One of them has already been outlined (page 
8) ; it is the plan of a purely international police force having the 
exclusive use of "heavy weapons. 1 " The other — which does not re- 
quire the practical disarmament of all countries— is the "quota. 

By this plan it is proposed that all the important countries; the 
three or four great powers and a number of others also, .should agree 
at the end of this war fo fix the size, and strength of their national 
armed forces at certain "quotas" or ratios. Tbese would he such 
that no one country, and no combination which is in the least likely 
to be formed for aggressive purposes, would have a force anywhere 
near equal to the combined forces of all the other members of the 
international organization. 

If such an agreement were made and carried out, a great state, 
though it would still have a sizable army, would not have such mili- 
tary strength that it could hope to succeed in acts of aggression. 
Even if an. attempt at aggression should be made, the law-abiding 
majority would not be prevented from suppressing it by fear 
of possible defeat or of a Jong and uncertain struggle. Decisive 
strength would l>e known in advance to be on the side of the 
international organization — that is, of the law-abiding countries in 
that organisation that want to live in a peaceful and orderly 

Those who propose this plan admit that it is not a simple 
matter It? figure out just what the quotas of the different coun- 
tries ought to be. But they in.-imtain that this calculation, 
though not so easy as twice-two-is-four, is entirely possible. The 

number of aggressive alliances th;*t miffhl conceivably he 
formed, in Buy future situation which wr t'.iii imagine, is not 
really very large. When these various possibilities are all set 
down, it is not particularly hard to figure a set of ratios between 
national forces which would give us the result desired in each 
case— that is, would give the decisive superiority of force always 
to the countries that would want to stop the aggressors. 

Working out tin? necessary proportions of the national forces, 
it is argued, is much Baser because of two important facts: first, 
the maptity of countries are pretty certain always to want to have 
peace preserved; second, we can be fairly sure that certain coun- 
tries will not themselves attempt aggressions and will be ready to 
back up the international organization in enforcing peace once they 
have taken a binding pledge to do so. These would include most of 
the middle-sized and small countries. Most Americans believe that 
among the great powers the United States would, for One, be AlWftVt 
on the side of peaee though possibly some other peoples may not 
feel no sure of this. 

The Difficulty of Getting Any Plan Accepted 

An effect of the quota, plan — if it were adopted — would be to de- 
crease the disproportion between the military strength of the big 
powers and the lesser ones. While the larger countries would stfll 
have the larger armies, the size of their armies would not be pro- 
portional to their populations; so that the total of the forces of the 
smaller countries could overbalance the force of any one— or, pos- 
sibly, even two — of the great powers. 

Probably the chief difficulty about any quota plan would be to gel 
all llic great powers to accept it. No one of the Big Three {or 
Four) would be very likely to accept for jtsclf a quota smaller than 
that of any of the others. This particular difficulty might perhaps 
be got round by giving all the great powers equal quotas. But sonic 
of them might not he satisfied with this; they might feci that their 
armed forces ought to be proportional to their population, or terri» 

tory, or wealth. If any one of them should insist on this, the pur- 
pose of the quota plan would be imperiled. 

On this point what the advocates of the quota plan say is that 
it is merely a question whether ox not the great powers really want 
to have a world organization that will be capable of preventing wars 
of aggression. If they don't want it, then of course nothing can be 
done to bring it about. But they have declared that they do want 
and intend to have such an organization. It is therefore argued that 
they will accept and carry out a system of quotas by which no coun- 
try, and no likely Combination of aggressor countries, can possess 
military power equal or even nearly equal to that of the rest of 
the countries belonging to the world organization. If no such system 
is adopted, say the supporters of this plan, the purpose proclaimed 
at Moscow cannot be realized. To prevent wars, they argue, you 
must not only have force behind the maintenance of peace but a 
permanently stronger force; and, it is asserted, if the international 
police force plan fc rejected, the only other way of making the 
force behind peace too strong to be challenged is by a quota plan. 

3, There ii,, however, a third type of plan for an international 
armed force which may be called the "dual-force plan." It is sim- 
ply a combination of the second type already outlined with a modi- 
fied form of the first. The greater part of the force at the disposal 
of the international organization for use against aggressors would, as 
in 2 above (page 11), consist of the national armies, navies, and air 
forces of the states in the international organization. These states 
would be pledged to supply these forces, if or when needed; and 
the sizes of the national armies could be fixed at certain definite 
ratios, as in the quota plan. But there would also be a separate 
international police force, like that m plan 1 above (page 9), except 
that it would not have a monopoly of heavy weapons (though it 
might be mainly an air force), and would not, by itself, be large 
and powerful enough to be a danger to the organization or the 
countries belonging to it. 

The system would be something like a combination of a sheriff's 

posse with a professional police force. This international policc 
force, which would be directly and exclusively under the command 
of the international -organization, would, it is. argued, reinforce th<- 
military power of the nations backing up the international organi- 
zation whenever it was necessary to suppress an attempt at aggres- 
sion. This force would thus increase the probability that the total 
strength at the disposal of the organization would be great enough 
to do the job. It could probably be more quickly brought into action 
at .iiiv point where trouble broke out than the large national armies, 
which Usually need some limp for mobilization. Minor disturbance* 
- attempts at aggression by one small state upon another — could he 
put down by the world police force alone, without the necessity of 
mobilizing national armies. 

This third plan, then, it is maintained by those who advocate 
it, would combine the advantages, while avoiding the weak poind, 
of both the others — and would therefore provide the most effective 
means of preventing wars. 

Facing the Cost of Peace 

The:* are, in brief outline, the major proposals that have been 
nude for providing the future international organization with ait 
armed force that could prevent wars by making aggressions too dan- 
gerous to be attempted by any country or, at the worst, could make 
it practically certain that if any aggressions arc attempted, they can 
quickly be suppressed. All the pEans aim at the same result. But, 
if this result is what we want, all will admit that the important 
thing is to choose the right plan — one thai will be really effective, 
and the most effective, for safeguarding peace between nations. 

This problem of deciding what model of international organiza- 
tion to prevent wars is most likely to work now face& all of us-. The 
great purpose of our own and other governments expressed at 
Moscow will certainly not be accomplished unless, by taking 
thought, we can find definite practical mrtins for accomplishing it 
and (hen are willing actually to adopt and use fjaese mean.*. 

This last point is the mwl important of all. For it may be that 
men will know what are the necessary and sufficient menus for 
maintaining peace, but will not be willing to use them. As was said 
above, people sometimes know the remedy for a disease from which 
they yifTer, but can't bring themselves to apply it, because it is 
unpleasant, or expensive, or requires them to give up their usual 
habits, or calls for hard and persistent effort. Any real remedy for 
the -old and dcep-scalcd disease of war will not be a cheap or easy 
remedy- Lasting peace can be had by nations only at a price. It 
will be a high price, requiring some changes in their habits of 
thinking and acting, and time alone will sbnw whether they are 
ready to pay it at the end of a second world war within a fenera- 

If it is derided that itn intern .it ion ;d organization must have some 
sort or force ai its dis]>osul in order to preserve peace, every nation 
belonging to the organization must be willing to provide i»™ and 
iirmaments for that force. Their readiness tn act when they are 
called on to help put down an aggression cannot be less because 
the immediate object of the aggression is some other and perhaps 
distant nation. If all peaceable nations unite for mutual defense, 
each will gain greatly increased security. Each must pay for that 
security, however, by increased rcs]x>nsibilily -responsibility for 
sending its own forces, if they should be needed, to help maintain 
the security of others. 

So, if anyone has decided that some one or other of the proposed 
means for preventing future wars would probably be Capable of 
preventing them, be will do well also to make clear to himself what 
it will cost — what his own country will need to do to hefp make it 
effective. And he must finally answer this question; Am I willing 
to pay that cost? 


"Everybody has a stake in solving the problem nf how to pre- 
vent war— but nnhotty understands the, need better than those now 
serving in the firmed forces. . . . They don't want their sons to go 
through what they are going through. . . . 

"But we face no simple Or easy problem. ... It wi31 not be 
solved without .i lot of hard thinking. And it isn't enough to leave 
[his hard thinking to a few statesmen and scholars. In a democracy 
these are not the people who settle the great issues. They ran be 
settled only by the wiJl of the majority." 

Look back at the opening pages of this pamphlet thai contain 
these sentences. No further words are needed to emphasize the 
vitality of the question, "Can We Prevent Future Wars?" 

Que it ions for Discussion 

The questions that follow are suggested to help you. These, or 
other similar ones that may occur to you, can be used by you and 
your assistants in planning an informal discussion meeting, a forum, 
i' panel discussion, or a. debate — whichever seems most appropriate 
to you. These questions as organized here "re particularly appro- 

priate for use in conducting an Informal discussion or a panel dis- 
cussion. The lest of the pamphlet Itself is particularly adapted 
for use by u speaker before a public forum. 
Can wt have lasting peace? Is it likely that, because there- 
always have been wars, there always will be? If the great majority 
of mankind want lasting peace, why is it thai we still have wars? 
What reasons are there for believing that another major war would 
be worse than this one? Should we assume that another major 
war will break out in twenty-five or fifty years unless something is 
done to prevent it? What is the fiist step toward the goal of lasting 
peace? What decisions have been made that take this first step? 
Does the failure of the old League of Nations mean that peace 
cannot be safeguarded? What were the principal reasons why the 
League of Nations failed to maintain peace? (Pages 1-8.) 


Are nations like individuals? Should we ussume that the condi- 
tions necessary for order and security in a community of individuals 
are also necessary for |>eace and security between nations? 
(Page Jl.) 


Should the United States join other nationt in enforcing peace? 
If the United States should become a member of an international 
organization to enforce peace, just what would our country he com- 
mitted to doing? What would the cost to us be— not mainly in 
money, but In the obligations which we should assume? Do you 
think it better to pay the cost of peace, or to risk another world 
war in the lifetime of your children or grandchildren? (Pages 


Can lasting peace be maintained without force to back ii up? 
If not, can an international force prevent wars unless this force 
will be stronger than that of any possible aggressor? Or unless it 
will actually be used if any aggression should occur? (Page 22.) 


What kind vj force? Assuming thut nn international aimed 
forte of some kind js necessary 10 safeguard peace, what would be 
the best kind of for«' for that purpose? A purely intcrnationaE 
police force? (Pages 9-10.) A force drawn from the armies of 
states belonging (o .in international organisation? (Pages U-21.) 
A so-called "dual force"? (Pages 21-22.) 

It is suggested that a rhiirt like the following one will be useful 
to the leader of any type of discussion meeting. It may be repro- 
duced either on a large sheet of paper or on a blackboard. Care- 
should bo taken lo have the lettering suflkienlly large for reading 
by anyone seated at the hack of the audience. 

For specific suggestions on organizing and conducting off-duty 
discussions, refer to EM 1 , G. I. RoundtabU; Guide for Dhcussion 


Can we have lasting peace? 


Are nations like individuals? 


Should the Uniled States join other nations in enforcing 



Can lasting peace be maintained without force- to back 

it up? 


What kind of force? 


Let the People Know. By Sir Norman Angel!. Published hy 
Viking Press, 18 East *8th Street, New York 17, N. Y. (1943). 

Collective Security: The Wiiy anu How. By Senator Joseph 
H. Ball. Nn. 9 of the pamphlet series America Looks Ahead 
published hy World Peace Foundation, 40 Mt. Vernon Street, 
Boston, Mass. {194-3). 

Security and World Organization. Part I, Fourth Report of 
Commission to Study the Organization of Peace, 8 West 40th 
Street, New York, N. Y. (1943), 

Svmmary of thf. World Federation Plan. By Ely CyJbertson. 
Published for World Federation by Garden City Publishing Com- 
pany, Garden City, N. Y. (1943.) 

Analysis of the Problem of War. By Clyde Eagleton. Pub- 
lished by Ronald Press Company, 15 East 26lh Street, New York. 
N. Y. (1937). 

The Problems of Lasting Peace. By Herbert Hoover and Huph 
Gibson. Ptibli>hi:d by DuubLeday, Doran and Company, Garden 
City, N. Y. (1942). 

International Security: Tht: AMEitiCAN Rom in Collective 
Action for Peace. By Philip C Jessup, Published by Council on 
Foreign Relations, 45 East 65th Street, New York, N. Y. (1935). 

Reconstituting the League of Nations. By Julia E, Johnson. 
Volume 16, No. 7 of The Reference Skclj, published by Ft. W. 
Wilson Company, 950 University Avenue, New York 52, N. Y. 

Peace Plans and American Choices. By Arthur C. Millspaugh. 
Punished by Brookings Institution, 722 Jackson Place, N. W., 
Washington 6, D. C. (1942). 

Enforcement of World Peace. By Buel W. Patch. Volume 2, 
No. 16 of Editorial Research Reports, 1013 Thirteenth Street, 
N.W, Washington 5, D. C. (1941). 

Police Principles and the Problem of War. By Charles Reith. 
Published by Oxford University Press, 11+ Fifth Avenue, New 
York, N. Y. (1940). 

Should There Be an International Organization for Gen- 
eral Security acainst Military Aggression, and Should 
the United States Participate rN Such an Organization ? 
No. 4 (in two part,) of pamphlet analyses prepared by Univer- 
sities Committee on Post-War International Problems, 40 Mt. 
Vernon Street, Boston, Mass. (1943).