A New Kind of War

by Norman Angell
of 3
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  July 31 1915  THE NEW REPUBLIC 327 A New Kind of War   UST America either lamely accept with rupture of diplomatic negotiations between Americahumiliating inertia a gross violation of her and Germany, be so handled as to become not mere-own right and dignity and of the common ly a means of solving the special and present Ameri-interest, or else take part in a war which, however cari difficulties concerning neutral rights and in-successful, will not necessarily advance in the least terests, but of achieving the larger purpose of de-degree the objects for which she fights—the future veloping a really civilized international law andsafety of her citizens and respect of their rights in finding some means of enforcing it more efficientwar time, a better international law and its more than the very clumsy instrument military force hasscrupulous future observance—and which conceive- proven itself so far to be.ably might even render those objects more remote Out of the Anglo-American negotiations mightthan ever   Is there no third course   Events have develop an understanding affording means of avoid-already pointed to a possible one. ing the absurd stultification which mere military co-Great Britain is at this moment engaged in ne- operation with the Allies would involve for Americagotiating with the merchants of neutral countries as —the position, that is, of fighting a war to assureto the conditions upon which they shall be allowed the victory of one side, to find after the war, per-to trade with one another, the object of course be- haps, that that side is as much opposed to any forming to prevent Germany securing supplies of any of international law at sea which will really protectkind through neutral sources. This amounts ob- American and neutral right and interest as is theviously to an attempt to control the international beaten of the world in such a way as to serve Great For, if the suggestion which follows  ^  provesBritain s military purposes. feasible, the constructive development of interna-The United States government—as apart from tional law and of some sanction enabling the com-certain of her merchants—has of course refused to munity of nations to enforce it, would not awaittake part in these negotiations, for obvious reasons, the end of war nor be dependent upon a definiteThis claim to dictate the conditions of trade be- victory of one side, but would take place during thet-ween neutrals, irrespective of blockade and contra- war and would later still be operative even thoughband as heretofore understood, constitutes a very the Allies were not decisively victorious in a mili-pregnant development of belligerent rights at sea. tary sense.However much the American people may approve Let us assume a rupture of diplomatic relationsEngland s general cause in this war, the Ameri- between America and Germany—a contingencycan government could not allow such development which recent events seem to render altogether prob-to become by precedent an accepted part of sea law, able. America would in such an event in any casebecause in some future war such functions might put her defences in as thorough order as possible,be exercised by a power other than England  on  though the likelihood of Germany sending an armybehalf of a cause of quite other character than across the Atlantic at this juncture is, to say the, that now being supported by England. Moreover, least, small. But American naval force would prob-it is freely alleged by American merchants that ably prepare to be in a position to convoy ships.British control of neutral trade is not exercised im- America should certainly make it plain to Ger-partially; that, while on the ground of preventing many—and to the Allies, for that matter—that thesupplies reaching Germany Britain has excluded absence of American military cooperation with theAmerican merchandise from neutral ports, British armies now fighting Germany was not due to meregoods of the same kind have been going to those indifference to the causes involved, still less to a de-ports in increasing quantities. Whatever of truth sire selfishly to avoid the cost and suffering of warthere may be in this allegation, it is evident that if in the achievement of her purpose, but because bothever belligef-ent right expanded into the formal her own and the larger and ultimate general in-recognition of the kind of control over neutral trade terest could be more effectively achieved by anotheraimed at by Great Britain, it is just such abuses form of cooperation, which would be as follows:as these that neutrals would in future suffer. The America would offer to settle the whole contra-whole matter is at this moment the subject of very band and blockade dispute with England on theserious negotiation between Washington and Lon- basis of making international that virtual control ofdon and the cause of some ill feeling between sec- overseas trade of the world which England nowtions of the two countries. exercises. That is to say, all that internationalYet this very situation might, in the event of trade now affected by British action should still be     8 THE NEW  REPUBLIC  July 31 subject to control for the definite purpose of pre- If the United States were to assume the responstbil-venting Germany securing supplies; but that control ity of furnishing munitions and material upon suchshould be exercised not arbitrarily by Great Britain, terms as to sustain British credit and liberate anbut by all the Allies plus the United States, and increasing proportion of the European manufactur-with the unofficial cooperation of the remaining ing population for military service, this countryneutrals as well. Prize courts and courts of control could by purely economic cooperation make a de-should not be British but representative of all these cisive contribution to the coercion of Germany,powers. The arrangement would in the circum- But though America s economic position wouldstances amount to an international control of the be dominant at such juncture, she should deliberate-world s supplies for the purpose of withholding ly internationalize the control it would imply, notthem from Germany, and in such a way as to avoid using it to impose an American view, but for thedifficulty between the combatants and between them purpose of securing adherence to the common rulesand the neutrals, and as to render the blockade or drawn up for the common good,seige of Germany effective not merely by sea power. Let us see how far the general niethod here in-but by cooperation between the nations of the world dicated might apply to a later situation of the a whole. I^ Europe is to crush Germany within her ownSuch an international body made up of repre- borders, and keep her crushed, it will be at thesentatives of America, Britain and her colonies, price of the Prussianization of the whole ofFrance, Russia, Italy, Belgium, Japan and, less of- Europe. To exact indemnities from Germany wiUficially, of the Scandinavian and Balkan states, mean the military occupation of her territories andHolland, Switzerland and Greece, would not deal that means the maintenance perhaps for manymerely with matters of exports and imports, with years of large armies by the Allies. To break uptrade between them, but with financial arrange- the German Empire would mean the annexationments as well—with exchange and credit difficulties, of some of her territory and the turning of theloans, censorship of mails and all the thorny prob- Allies into conquerors and military rulers of alienlems that have arisen during the war. From these —German—populations. And yet the alternativematters it might perhaps proceed to deal with such for Europe is to allow Germany after the peaceproblems as the disposal of German property—in- to build up her strength and wealth, so involvingterned ships, businesses of various kinds, royalties the possibility, five or ten or fifteen years hence,on patents, bank balances and so forth—and, it of a recuperated Germany still dreaming of worldmay be, more remote arrangements as to the future domination. That is to say, that would be thecontrol of German action in the world: tariff ar- alternative if the action of the western world wererangements; the conditions upon which Germany limited to military action. But if we can assunieshould at the peace be once more admitted to the the international control of the world s wealth incommunity of nations, whether on equal terms or some such a way as that above indicated, well es-not; whether the most efficient means of exacting tablished, having gone on for some time, theresome indemnification for damage done might not be would be a situation in which the channels of tradeby sequestration of German property throughout would for prolonged periods have been turnedthe world and possibly some surtax by  tariff ship away from Germany and a situation also in which,and mail dues, all of course subject to due legal for instance, Germany s enemies would controljudgment of an international court. virtually every pound of cotton grown in the world.In short, there would be in the bodies so created. And the needs of the war would have engenderedthe beginnings of the world organization of our between those enemies much mutual hopefulness mcommon resources, social, economical and political, the way of loans, credit arrangements, etc., withfor the purpose of dealing with a recalcitrant mem- their resources organized and their action coor-ber of international society, by other than purely dinated by central international organs. If such amilitary means—a starting point whence interna- situation really existed, German aggression wouldtionai law might be made a reality, a code, that be faced by forces that mere military power could is,  not merely expressing the general interest but not meet. ^ , . . .„ ,  ã sanctioning processes which furnish means of en- Two or three obvious objections will be urgedforcing respect for it. to the course just outlined. It will be said thatThis control would center at first mainly in by the proposed action America would have sacri-America, since during the course of the war the ficed her neutrality and created a state of war withactivities and resources of the existing belligerent Germany. Of course; and if Germany cared tonations would more and more be absorbed by mili- avail herself of existing international law to insisttary operations, thus making America the largest on that point it would simplify America s action,single source of supplies, money and ammunition. But it would be an academic point raised by Ger-  July 3r rgi5 THE NEW REPUBLIC 329 many.  She  could hardly oblige America  to  sendtroops  to  Europe, and just  for the  moment she  is not  in a  position  to  send troops here. The mean-ing which America shall give  to a  state  of  war is  in  the actual circumstances mainly America's  af- fair; and  if  she cares to put the emphasis  of  her  ef- fort upon  the  development  of  other than militaryforces, how can Germany prevent that? And whyshould America worry  as to the  precise meaningwhich Germany may attach  to a  state  of  war It will also  be  urged that  in  cooperating  in the suggested control over neutral trade America wouldbe  guilt}'  of  the very violation  of  international lawof which she  is  now accusing England. But therewould  be no  violation  of law on  America's part.America would have  no  right  to  dictate  to  Britainjust what  the  latter should  or  should  not  sell  to Holland—which  is  the counterpart  of  what Britainis trying  to do to  America; but America and Eng-land have  a  perfect right  to  agree together justw^hat they will  and  will  not  export  to  Holland—which  is the  character  of the  world control  em- bodied  in  the suggestion. And  if, in  arranging  for the control  of,  their exports, those nations  and others desire  to put  Holland  to as  little incon-venience  as  possible  and for  that purpose offer  to consult with  her,  they  do  violence neither  to Holland's rights  nor to  international  law. It is true that the ultimate outcome, and the one definite-ly aimed  at  by America, would be  a  radical changeof international  law,  especially with reference  to the future nature of neutrality, but that again wouldbe  by  consent  of the  community  of  nations  as a whole.  The  obligation  of the  individual  to  obeythe  law of the  community does  not  exclude  the right  of the  community  to  change  the  law,  nor of individuals to work towards such change by generalconsent.  An act  which  is  absolutely inadmissibleas  the  right  of an  individual acting with no refer-ence  to  the community may be perfectly admissibleas the act  of  the community sanctioned by the com-mon will.  It is  these distinctions indeed whichalone make society possible.And  a  final objection: Why not declare war  in the ordinary way and  aid in  the military defeat  of Germany by sending troops  to  Europe? Becauseto  do  so would be  to  identify this country with  the military policy  of the  Allies, and that means ulti-mately with  the  political policy  as  well;  it  wouldniean adhesion  to the  arrangement  by  which  no Ally makes  a  separate peace,  and  would thus  tie American action  to the  political complications  of Europe;  it  would prevent America's leaving  the door open  for the  reestablishment  at a  later dateof diplomatic relations with Germany, and  so  serv-ing as mediator; it would, by dividing American en-ergies between military and economic cooperation.prevent her putting  all  the emphasis  of  effort uponthat international economic organization which maybe effective where,  at  least  so far in  history, meremilitary victory has been ludicrously ineffective. Andfinally the Allies need munitions, material  and money, more than they need men.But the major point  is  that America can  at  thisjuncture give what none  of the  combatants  can give:  a  lead  in  the organization  of at  present unor-ganized forces that may  lay  the foundations  of a new society  of  the nations. To that end she shoulddirect her efforts. NORMAN ANGELL. Arithmetic  of the  Armies T HE Swiss military writers have  so far as  pos-sible compiled figures  on all the  armies  ex- cept the Russian,  and the  average  of  these figuresis interesting.  The  accepted unit  is a  battalion  of i,ooo men. WEST FRONT Germans i,iooFrench i,iooEnglish  ' 185 Belgians  . 65 (giving the Allies 250 superiority.) EAST FRONT Germans  700 Austrians  650 Russians 1,500 (?) SOUTHWEST FRONT Austrians  160 Italians  5^5 The Servian and Montenegrin forces are not con-sidered, being practically inactive; but the Servianscan probably still advance 100 battalions.  I  haveas yet seen no figures  of  any value on the forces  at the Dardanelles, nor those  on  the Caucasus front.The above figures include only  the  infantry  and the immediate infantry reserves. Thus  a  Britishforce in camp near Boulogne would not be included.The western front is 600 kilometers, say 375 mileslong, giving  an  average  of 3.6  battalions  to the mile along  the  whole front from Switzerland  to the Channel.  Of  course, these forces  are not  dis-tributed evenly,  but  generally speaking,  the strengthening  of  one sector  of the  line means  the weakening  of  another sector somewhere else,  and in Swiss military circles  it is  not believed that morethan  75  German battalions were withdrawn fromthe west  to  take part  in the  Galician campaign.Now  it is  evident that this numerical superiorityof the Allies—1,350  to  1,100—is  not  sufficient  to warrant  a  general frontal attack on  a  front, say,  of
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