There has never been a time in our history when war is not being waged somewhere in the world. It seems that conflict is a reality of human nature and world peace only exists in a far off fairy tale land. The first attempt to create such a place was the League of Nations that was founded at the Paris Peace Conference following the end of World War I. It lasted 27 years, but failed to prevent World War II. The United Nations is round two, established after our second world war with the intent to prevent a third major war. FDR played a significant role in its creation which now includes 193 participating states.
How effective has the United Nations been? While we have yet to see a third world war, sadly wars are being raged all over the globe. Presently, 60 countries are involved in conflict with 522 militias-guerrillas and separatist groups participating. Not even close to world peace!
Wars are fought for all kinds of reasons, including: revenge, religion, drugs, ideology, money, politics and the list goes on. Human conflict, and the inability to solve it peacefully, is at the heart of all of them. While world peace is not likely an outcome we will ever see, delaying war, minimizing destruction, and learning from our mistakes are realistic outcomes.
The image today of the United Nations Building, overshadowing a barren field on the East River in New York City, is unsettling to me. Perhaps the dead grass, gravel, and dearth of any life foreshadow an ominous future, unavoidable in spite of the powers that operate in the impressive concrete and window tower.