Militarism has made us less safe, and continues to do so. It is not a useful tool for protection. Other tools are.
Studies over the past century have found that nonviolent tools are more effective in resisting tyranny and oppression and resolving conflicts and achieving security than violence is.
Wealthy militarist nations like the United States think of their militaries as global police, protecting the world. The world disagrees. By a large margin people all over the world consider the United States the greatest threat to peace.
The United States could easily make itself the most beloved nation on earth with much less expense and effort, by ceasing its “military aid” and providing a bit of non-military aid instead.
The momentum of the military-industrial complex works through the hammer-nail effect (if all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail). What’s needed is a combination of disarmament and investment in alternatives (diplomacy, arbitration, international law enforcement, cultural exchange, cooperation with other countries and people).
The most heavily armed nations can help disarmament in three ways. First, disarm — partially or fully. Second, stop selling weapons to so many other countries that don’t manufacture them themselves. During the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, at least 50 corporations supplied weapons, at least 20 of them to both sides. Third, negotiate disarmament agreements with other countries and arrange for inspections that will verify disarmament by all parties.
The first step in handling crises is to stop creating them in the first place. Threats and sanctions and false accusations over a period of years can build momentum for war that is triggered by a relatively small act, even an accident. By taking steps to avoid provoking crises, much effort can be saved.
When conflicts inevitably do arise, they can be better addressed if investments have been made in diplomacy and arbitration.
A fair and democratic international system of law is needed. The United Nations needs to be reformed or replaced with an international body that forbids war and allows equal representation to every nation. The same goes for the International Criminal Court. The idea behind it is exactly right. But if it only prosecutes tactics, not the launching, of wars, and if it only prosecutes Africans, and only Africans not cooperating with the United States, then it weakens the rule of law rather than expanding it. Reform or replacement, not abandonment, is needed.