“Big Four” (excluding China) as “policemen” whose powerrnwould dampen conflict between the minor states. The flaw becamernquickly evident. The World War II Allies did not stayrnunited, as the Soviet Union and then China became enemiesrnof the West. This had also happened after World War I, whenrnJapan and Italy broke with the Western Allies to form the Axisrnwith a revived Germany. Time and again the liberal notionrnthat in an enlightened world everyone would recognize a harmonyrnof interests in peace has proven a delusion. Even the horrorrnof two world wars and the threat of nuclear escalationrnfailed to bring forth such a common view. People the worldrnover continue to hold causes (national, religious, ideological) tornbe more important than peace, causes for which some arernwilling to die and many more are willing to kill. There is no statusrnquo that satisfies everyone. Change is always in the air.rnhe real dangerrncomes if thernUnited States isrndragged into a series of fruitless conflictsrnwithout benefit to the country. It isrnthen that public opinion becomesrndisenchanted and turns “isolationist,”rnthus undermining the ability of therncountry to maintain the means and thernwill to defend its own interests.rnHow change evolves depends on the balance of power, a balancernthat occasionally must be tested. The liberal response hasrnbeen “collective security,” the attempt to prevent change byrnmeeting force with force. Whenever war breaks out, thernUnited Nations is to identify the aggressor and intervenernagainst him; the proposed intervention is dependent on Americanrn”leadership” to be effective. The result is more Americanrninvolvement in more foreign conflicts with less likelihood ofrnsuccess than the more modest agenda of traditional diplomacyrnbased on fighting only when clearly defined American interestsrnare directly threatened. It also naively assumes that “aggression”rncan be easily defined.rnDuring the Cold War, any expansion by a communistrnregime, whether by cross-border invasion or internal subversion,rnwas branded “aggression” in accordance with the national securityrninterests of the United States and its allies. Critics attackedrnthis for not being “evenhanded.” They wanted a generalrnprinciple that would condemn friends as well as foes forrntheir violent acts regardless of their effect on American interests.rnAnd all too often, the State Department gave in to suchrnpressure to place sanctions against countries that not onlyrnwere fiiendly to the United States but in some cases were actualrnmilitary allies acting against avowed enemies of the UnitedrnStates (examples: siding with the Soviet Union against Britainrnand France during the 1956 Suez Crisis; denouncing Israelrnfor its attack on an Iraqi nuclear facility in 1981; and levyingrnsanctions against various anticommunist regimes in LatinrnAmerica).rnMost of these cases involved alleged human rights abuses orrnpunitive or preemptive military strikes. However, anotherrncommon approach is to appeal to the supposed universal “principle”rnthat borders should not be changed by force. Calls forrnAmerican intervention in Bosnia have been based heavily onrnthis notion. Yet this is one of many ivory-tower ideals far removedrnfrom reality. Flip through any historical atlas andrnwatch the colors depicting nations and empires dance back andrnforth across the page. Watch the border of the United Statesrnmove westward. The world is a dynamic place; its political geographyrncannot be frozen in time. Yet the advocates of collectivernsecurity are willing to spend American blood in a futilerneffort to attempt this.rnBut collective security has a very poor record. The reason isrnsimple. Nations do not want to waste their precious blood andrntreasure fighting wars that do not concern them directly andrnhorn which they will gain nothing to offset their losses. Instead,rnnations which feel that their interests or security may be threatenedrnare free to use the tools of traditional diplomacy and formrnalliances to achieve mutual goals. Such alliances, becausernthey are more narrowly focused and originate from concrete nationalrnconcerns, are much more likely to be honored.rnDespite the many failures of collective security, new callsrnare being made for a stronger United Nations that can actrnas an independent authority superior to national governments.rnThe aim is to restrain or direct the energies of national governmentsrnand the private interests they shelter. Unsurprisingly,rnmost of these calls are coming from the left.rnWith the Soviet Union gone, leftists are looking for a newrnpower to contain American “imperialism.” To them, collectivernsecurity means counterbalancing the influence of the UnitedrnStates as the only superpower. When Mikhail Gorbachevrnraises millions of dollars by speaking of the “need for some kindrnof global government… one in which all members of the worldrncommunity could take part,” it is cleady a bid by the formerrnleader of the defunct Soviet Union to create a new power tornconfront an old rival. The same is true when Joanne Lundy ofrnthe Campaign for Peace and Democracy argues that all membersrnof the U.N. Security Council should be elected by thernGeneral Assembly in the name of “an equitable distribution ofrnwealth and power” with no “anti-democratic” vetoes. Here isrnan excellent example of why the United States, with only sixrnpercent of the world’s population, should not claim that advancingrnglobal democracy is its top priority.rnAnother dangerous notion is that the United Nations shouldrnhave its own armed forces and intelligence agency. An advocaternof this is Michael G. Renner of the left-wing WorldwatchrnInstitute. Renner is critical of the U.N. Security Council forrn”abdicating its responsibility . . . by giving a U.S.-led coalitionrna blank check.” During the Gulf crisis, he wanted Americanrnforces placed “under control of the Security Council and itsrnMilitary Staff Committee.” The United Nations should not berndependent on forces contributed by national governments butrnshould recruit its own army from “individuals whose loyalty tornthe U.N. is not in question,” says Reimer. That is, individualsrnwho have turned their backs on their own homelands. Rennerrnbelieves this army could go beyond protecting borders to iri-rn28/CHRONlCLESrnrnrn