Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Is the U.S. the World's Policeman?

Do you mean "world's police force"? I don't think that is a very good idea. Why would one country in the world be the police force for the entire world? Besides, I don't think we do a very good job of policing our own country, let alone others.

Kids behave better, and there is less bullying, when the teacher is actually on the playground. In many instances, the US plays that role in the world. Just by being around, and maintaining a military presence, is often all that is needed.

Forming coalitions with like-minded countries is always the goal, but we alone have the resources and will to keep the peace. If Russia and China shared our goals of stabilizing the world, they would be welcomed partners, but they appear to want to dominate their regions of the world by military might. And, there are numerous, smaller actors who want to take over their neighbors through force.

Certainly, you wouldn't argue that the United Nations has proven to be able to prevent major wars or genocidal maniacs from acting with impunity. The UN is the model of ineffective bureaucracy (and corruption).

You like lots of police, don't you? And you want the US to be a world police force? 

Not for me. I'd rather fix anything wrong with the UN and make a strong coalition of countries.

Let's back up for just a moment. Although they perform some similar roles, police are not the military or the armed forces.

Police keep the peace. They ensure people follow the laws, and when folks don't, the police  arrest them. And yes, I do like the police, and believe they have an incredibly dangerous and tough job to perform. Having more of them would have a calming effect on neighborhoods where crime is rampant.

The members of our military, on the other hand, are tasked with keeping our country safe from those that would do us harm. There are many countries in the world that are run by murderous, power-hungry dictators who want to take land and resources from their neighbors. Having our forces stationed around the globe, with an understanding we won't tolerate these despots invading other countries, also can have a calming effect. When we fought Iraq after they invaded Kuwait, Iran pulled back on its support of terrorist groups in the region for years. 

In the UN, every one of these dictators has the same vote that we have. And because of the rotating selection of leadership posts, a country that has been leading the world in human-rights violations one year, can find itself in charge of  the human-rights commission the next. Only at the UN does this make any sense.

Well then, you answered your question: is the US the world's police force? No, because we send in military forces, rather than police forces. 

Your understanding of how the UN works is a bit wrong. None of these countries are members of the security council. So a vote by any of these dictators is not the same as a vote by the US. 

Your understanding of the UN is a bit wrong. While there are certain issues and measures that have to be approved by the security council, which we are a member of, the vast majority of the work done at the UN is through hundreds of committees that are made up of member states. The committee heads are assigned on a rotating basis, and every country gets a vote. Most of the votes taken from the floor of the UN are also one-country-one-vote. Whenever things don't go the way of a member of the security council, they can move the item to the security council for a final approval. This is why Israel continues to get singled out for war crimes, despite the genocide and atrocities committed by numerous countries around the world (who just happen to hate Israel), that get a free pass.

Here's an article that also illustrates some of the problems within the UN itself, the model of bureaucracy:

However, it is also true the UN has an annual operating budget of around 6 billion dollars per year. Not 600 billion, not 60 billion, but six. (The number jumps to a total of 14 billion when you add peacekeeping to the bill.) That isn't really enough to accomplish any real action, and it doesn't give the UN any teeth to pose any real threat to anyone. I think I prefer it that way, and I think the major players in the world have made it that way on purpose. All talk, and little to threaten them.

Agreed that the UN doesn't have enough money to do its job.

David: The question really is should we hold a role of preserving the peace around the world with our military (like a police force)? I think we can serve that purpose. And I think it serves our goals of protecting  the US, our economy,  as well as maintaining peace in the world. Russia and China certainly aren't going to fill that role.

I don't think we can serve that purpose. A single agency will, of course, act in its own best interest, if it must. The solution, like any similar situation, is that we need a higher authority---one that doesn't have any other motives other than doing the right thing.

So, you're finally read to turn things over to God? As long as man is running the show, greedy, selfish, power-hungry folks are likely to be in charge of whatever organization you put at the top of the heap. The more centralized the power, the more damage they'll do. But I'm happy to see you've decided there is a higher power and authority, and only God has no other motive than to do the right thing.

Sure! Let's turn the authority over to the UN, give them some money, and you can pray that they'll do God's work.

Well, at least we can agree that without divine intervention, individual countries will always act in their own best interest. The question remains how best to reign them in for a peaceful world.

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