Diarmement Essay

1156 words - 5 pages

DISARMAMENT AND INTERNATIONALISM Introduction In the years immediatelyafter World War I,the view developed that it was the existence of the massive military machines of the European powers that had made war possible in 1914.Thus it followed that if another disaster were to be avoided,these military machines needed to be destroyed.A war cannot be fought without military power.Furthermore it was argued that the existence of large armed forces meant that any move made by any power was greeted with fear and suspicion.Consequently there was always the danger that an isolated incident could escalate into something more serious. Unfortunately,despite all the good intentions,the story of disarmament between 1919 and the 1932 Disarmament Conference is a story of failure. Specific proposals contained too many flaws and nations took diametrically opposed positions on the entire issue.In some ways it could be argued that disarmament was and still isa logically impossible. The first step in disarmament after the war was the treatment meted out to Germany in the Treaty of Versailles.It was hoped that this would begin a general move towards disarmament.Article 8 of the League Covenant saw disarmament as a specific goal: The members of the League recognise that the maintenance of peace requires the reduction of national armaments to the lowest point consistent with national safety and the enorcement by common action of international obligations...Reasons for the Failure of Disarmament *In the same way that France found it impossible to compromise over the issue of reparations,so it found it impossible to do so over disarmament. Britain saw disarmament as a means of achieving security.France believed that it was necessary to first achieve security before the process of disarmament could begin.*The French viewed Germany as a potentially powerful nation of 70 million. France,a nation of 4 million,would always be at Germany's mercy unless it could be sure of an ally,so it aimed at keeping Germany weak and could not move on disarmament until its security had been established.*The major divergence of opinion on the disarmament question can be summarised as follows: -the British desire for disarmament versus the French aim for sucurity; -the Greman desire for disarmament versus the French aim for security; *Throughout the 1920s Germany demanded equality.Anglo-French differences over Germany were already great and these spilled over into the area of disarmament as Britain again sympathised with the German cause.*Added to Frances fear of a German rival was the now growing fear of Bolshevism.'The hydra-headed fear of Bolshevism added to the sense of insecurity which checked disarmament.'-1 *In some ways it could be argued that moves towards disarmament were either impossible or unnecessary.If there were no fears about the international situation,then there would be no great worry about the issue of disarmament.If nations do not fear aggression they do not...

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