"Just recently, a State Department official in the Obama administration said that Americans have remained safe in a nuclear age, not because of our own nuclear arsenal but because 'we created an intricate and essential system of treaties, laws and agreements.'
If 'treaties, laws and agreements' produced peace, there would never have been a Second World War. The years leading up to that monumental catastrophe were filled with international treaties and arms control agreements.
The Treaty of Versailles, which ended the First World War, imposed strong restrictions on Germany's military forces -- on paper. The Washington Naval Agreements of 1922 imposed restrictions on all the major naval powers of the world -- on paper. The Kellogg-Briand pact of 1928 created an international renunciation of war -- on paper.
The Munich agreement of 1938 produced a paper with Hitler's signature on it that British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain waved to the cheering crowds when he returned to England, and said that it meant "Peace for our time." Less than a year later, World War II began.
Winston Churchill never bought any of this. He understood that military deterrence was what preserved peace. With England playing a leadership role in Europe, 'England's hour of weakness is Europe's hour of danger,' he said in the House of Commons in 1931...
'Not one of the lessons of the past has been learned, not one of them has been applied, and the situation is incomparably more dangerous,' Churchill said in 1934. And every one of those words is more urgently true today, in a nuclear age."
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