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Is the United Nations About to Fail Us Just Like the League of Nations?

Written By Jeff Edwards

Posted December 29, 2015

More humans died in World War II than in every single conflict that has taken place since combined.

At the end of World War II, it was determined that we would need a replacement for the failed League of Nations, which was supposed to prevent another Great War at the end of World War I.

Sorry, League of Nations, but when you fail to prevent a war that kills over 70 million human beings worldwide, you get the boot.

So in walks the United Nations.

By a vote of the Security Council, it has the ability to levy sanctions, mediate conflicts, and (in cases such as the Korean War) actually send troops into combat to enforce its will.

But it has been 70 years since the end of World War II, and I can’t help but feel we live in a very different world today.

Worth the Cost?

By far, the United States has contributed more financially and militarily to the United Nations than any other country.

The U.S. currently contributes nearly 22% of the UN budget, which is nearly double its next contributor.

When the UN does deploy militarily in any significant fashion, it is primarily United States troops that do the largest part of the work.

Sure, there are a few peacekeeping missions where blue helmets roam the land, but when it is time to let the bullets fly, those blue helmets are almost always replaced with American.

We host the United Nations building in New York, where it occupies prime real estate.

Perhaps this saves American diplomats on travel costs.

Just a few years ago, before meeting the fatal end of his people’s aggression, Gaddafi railed on the United Nations floor about jet lag and asked for a rotating host for the United Nations. I thought it was funny.

But it all begs the question as to whether or not the United Nations is worth the cost.

Presidential candidate Rand Paul made clear earlier this year that he would love to abolish the United Nations.

Beyond keeping the peace, it certainly seems keen on passing resolutions that would be to the disadvantage of America if they had any enforceable authority.

Those that do have an enforceable authority are routinely vetoed by America if it will hurt us. But what about the rest of the world?

Five Nations Hold the Cards

Honestly, it is really all about the West versus Russia and China.

When was the last time Great Britain used its veto power to take down an American-sponsored resolution?

When it comes time for the gritty action of the world to take place, it is rare that the U.S. and Russia or China see eye to eye.

Are you telling me that the UN is going to mediate the inevitable conflict between the U.S. and China over the territorial claims of the South China Sea?

Where was the UN when Russia took over Crimea and parts of the Ukraine this year?

At best, the UN seems to be the forum for settling disputes about lands no one really cares about anymore.

It seems toothless to prevent the next great war, and we must ask ourselves whether we are committed to an outdated forum that will lead us to the next war where the carnage exceeds that of what history has known to date.

Perhaps Rand Paul is right — maybe the era of the United Nations is over, and if we don’t find its modern replacement sooner rather than later, we just might be on the doorstep of the greatest war the world has ever known… again.

An outdated system of international governance has failed us once, so why pretend it can’t happen again?