An unusual proposition, part two

I gave part one to two friends who had been senior officers in the army and had served in war situations. I asked each of them for their responses. The first one didn’t approve at all because he said there was no assurance that a given country could not be attacked by another country. The second person thought the idea had some merit, but this was tempered by what should be done when the country behaved as Germany did with mass genocide, or some other criminal conception
In the first case my assumption was that all the nations belonged to an agreed organisation similar to the EU or the UN. Also, that the general public in these nations, for their own peace of mind and security, agreed with the principle and only under exceptional circumstances, approved of by the overriding organisation, would allow themselves to be conscripted. The basic principle of the system is that all the countries who have signed up to this proposal contribute volunteer individuals to join a common police force, with equipment necessary, provided by the organisation and maintained by it, to combat any situation, that might arise. In the second case, internal genocide, this was obviously an internal matter, but as all the countries had signed up to an agreement which included unconstitutional acts being deemed criminal, then the common police force would be used to quell such acts and take proceedings against any person or persons who was instituting or proposing such acts.

I find it interesting to use the likes of Northern Ireland politics to show that it is a microcosm of what I’m suggesting. Assume the four Nations, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Eire as representing a wider case. A large element of Eire and the smaller element in Northern Ireland have for historical reasons, always intended that Ireland will be ruled from Dublin. It is an avowed policy of the IRA that they would work in whatever manner they sought, to achieve this end. Some of their actions have patently been criminal and pure terrorism. Added to that, there has been a strong element of political manoeuvring to achieve the same end, ably assisted in both cases by outside influences from people who would join the fray in mind, if not in fact, and provide succour in various forms while the so-called war is in progress. Soldiers have been brought into this fray in a policing role to back up what was the regular police force. At no time was there ever a face-to-face encounter of any size, as in conventional warfare.

I therefore suggest that with the way in which information is now hacked from computer terminals, any form of political or criminal uprising would be discovered when in its infancy, and so become, like Northern Ireland, a matter for the police, long before it becomes an all-out war. If we take the rise of Hitler as an example, of the way in which the populace can be brainwashed, which then in turn grows like a cancer to the point where those responsible for initiating the concept, are able by threat and criminal acts to achieve their ends, would be able to be stopped by international condemnation and through legal channels, possibly backed by the international police force, to a state where the indigenous population can see the error of its ways. In Northern Ireland it has taken a long time, but the level of political apathy which has resulted, and the total disruption of our government system by the infighting that has gone on between the various parties, is an indication, in my view, that something along the lines of the proposition I suggest, is not as stupid, or harebrained as one might suppose at first sight.

1 comment

  1. Dear Old Gaffer,

    I read parts one and two of your unusual proposition with great interest. Having knocked a few heads together over the past 20 years I’m qualified in a small way to respond – and thanks for the chance to do so.

    I agree with your sentiments as to the ultimate futility of war on so many levels; I agree it would be wonderful if war were obsolete. Sadly war has and always will be with us, ususally on about a ten year cycle for the last century or so. And whilst the collective police (UN etc) do exist, politicians cannot agree sufficiently to trust their national fate to the collective (and I dont really blame them). There will always be the irrational and often unpredictable fanatic who will, on either a small or a large scale, seek to enforce their will on others (usually those weaker than them). In my view turning the other cheek doesnt work against these sorts of people.

    Therefore having the means to defend against and defeat threats is, in my view, essential for all our wellbeing. Developing a political class who understand the realities of their decisions and trusting in them to only use the military means for the right reason, at the right time and in the right measure is quite another thing! Thank goodness in the UK we have strong military leaders to keep the politicians honest!

    Finally I would make the point that military power has proven its worth as a deterrent and as a means of achieving the political ends. Without the military intervention and support to the Police in Ulster I believe the IRA may not have been brought to the negotiating table quite so soon. War is after all, politics by other means – sometimes the only way to move on is to, literally, fight it out. War is not, and never should be, the desired goal but is often a means to a more peaceful and stable end. Soldiers know this. They also share your healthy scepticism of politicians. But as we all know soldiers fight and die for the mates beside them and to make a positive difference in foresaken parts of the world (at home and abroad) when politicians fail; and politicians are always going to fail at some point!

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