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Leader in War Could be Leader in Peace

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Message Ivan Simic

In our contemporary world there are 245 entities, which include; countries, independent states (both internationally recognized and generally unrecognized), inhabited dependent territories, and areas of special sovereignty. Almost, all of these entities have fought some kind of war and battle in their history for various reasons, such as: independence, religion, revolution, liberation, occupation, among others. According to war history, over 365 million people lost their lives in these wars, including ongoing ones. Unfortunately, the final number of war victims will never be known.

For centuries, numerous wars were fought among countries, and in relation to that, we cannot ignore one country that has participated or had a big influence in many of them, especially recent ones. That country is the United States of America (USA).

The United States proclaimed independence from Great Britain on July 4, 1776 but she was officially recognized on September 3, 1783, and since then, the USA was involved in over 285 domestic and international military conflicts, some of which were: World War I and II, Vietnam War, Korean War, Gulf War, and ongoing wars: Iraq War (Second Persian Gulf War), War in Somalia, War on Terrorism (Operation Enduring Freedom); Afghanistan, Philippines, Trans Sahara, among others. If we look through world history for the last fifty years, we can see that no country has been involved in as many military conflicts as the United States has.

Currently, the USA has over 369,000 active military personnel deployed outside the USA, including: around 170.000 troops in Iraq, Japan 48.844 troops, Germany 63.958 troops, South Korea 26.477 troops, the UK 10.967 troops, among others. Also, the USA has; 27 Air Force Bases, 3 Army Bases, 4 Navy Bases, and 1 Barracks worldwide. Without these military installations, the USA would be vulnerable like any other country, and a country without major influence in the International System.

Therefore, general opinion would be that; the USA is a very aggressive country, but is she? For instance, if we compare the world entities to one big family; then we can say that the USA is like a "big brother" to the remaining countries. The USA is always there to help and protect small countries, to support, to give financial aid, but also to discipline some in order to make them better. The United States likes to be called the "leader of the free world", while others believe that she is a ruler, perhaps conqueror. However, many are wondering if she is capable of being a leader. Well, the USA is one of the youngest countries in the world, but she took that chance and became a leader, while others didn't. Being a leader is not easy, and occasionally she makes mistakes, therefore it is up to older and wiser countries to help her realise them.

We are evidencing dramatic changes in the world today; China, India, Russia and European Union are getting economically stronger, and the USA economy is beginning to stagnate. If this trend continues, then the only way for the United States to remain a superpower, and dominant economical, political, cultural, and military force in the world will be to fight wars. It would be better for the United States to use warfare money and invest in the domestic economy, instead of spending billions of dollars on useless wars.

In regard to the above, it looks like American people didn't get anything good from these hopeless wars, especially recent ones. These days, American citizens lives in constant fears from terrorist attacks, and they became potential targets for terrorist worldwide.

However, there are few very interesting facts: many countries have policy against the USA, her way of conducting politics and way of living, but at the same time wants to be like her. It is similar with different nationalities, many of them don't like Americans, but almost every person in the world would like to become an American citizen and live in the USA. Take for instance how many Mexicans, Chinese, Cubans, and even Muslims from countries that the USA army have occupied live in the United States, and struggle to become citizens. Many countries have implemented numerous US Laws and regulations, and it is evident the number of immigrants coming to the United States is increasing every year.

So, what can we expect from the United States in the future?

No one knows, let's just hope that she will end this war trend and use her resources to bring harmony to the world, so that we can enjoy her leadership in a peaceful and understanding way.

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Ivan Simic was born in Belgrade, Serbia and an Economics graduate. For the past decade, he has worked in various fields: business, diplomacy, and government. He has written many articles and critiqued or supported theories concerning global issues (more...)
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