World War I and Source of Future Major Conflict
by Gemar S. Fernandez
On July 27, 1914, the world will commemorate the centennial anniversary of World War I. According to some historians, WW I is considered the Great War of human history. For the first time, many nations were involved and formed their alliances. In that war, nations used land, air and naval warfare. The war destroyed men, treasure and empires and contorted those that survived. It gave birth to new and unexpected forces.
The war broke out in 1914 because the elaborate safeguards men had built to prevent war were less strong than the divisive forces pulling nations apart. Despite the many efforts made to preserve peace in the 1900’s, European nations during these years stood on a powder keg. When a spark was struck to the powder, all men’s hopes and plans for peace were exploded.
The modern world of 21st century, when eventually everyone will be free and well educated and where the old vested interest of aristocratic armies who had made a faith of military virtues will be dispossessed, and where all nations were free from foreign rule or oppression and where free and economic growth had made everyone secure may experience another conflict. Still the world is not free from future war.
Richard Javad Heydariana a specialist on Asian Geopolitical/Economic Affairs quoted, “South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) is the future source of Major Conflicts. In his reports he stated:
“While it is true that South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) disputes have been a permanent feature of regional affairs for some decades, recent years have been particularly disconcerting. Since 2009, China has stepped up its para-military patrols in the area, with growing reports of Chinese surveillance vessels “harassing” among others, Filipino as well as Vietnamese ships and fisherman.
In mid 2012, the Philippines and China came dangerously close to an armed conflict over Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal) in the South China Sea. By mid 2013, China pushed the envelope even further, with Chinese para-military vessels allegedly aiming to overrun Philippine Military fortifications in the Second Thomas Schoal in that South China Sea.”
The Department of National Defense announced that next year, fighter jets and naval equipment will arrive in our country. Above all, the Philippines has been negotiating a new Defense Fact with the United States, just to defend the territory with dignity and integrity.
The Philippines also sought to legally challenge China’s Territorial claims in South China Sea by filling arbitration case with the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), just to resolve the Maritime dispute through peaceful means but China will not cooperate.
The creation of International Law is more reliable safeguard of peace. There had always been rules and procedures, eagerly accepted and agreed to, that governed the relations among governments. In the last few generations, these rules had been expanding and taking on a more formal quality. International Law is coming more and more to list the things that governments could and could not do in their dealings with foreign nations. They could not confiscate the property of foreigners without due process. They could not invade the embassies of foreign states. They could not seize the ships of foreign nations. If all nations that involved in the dispute in South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) will follow the international Law, there will be peace and stability in the region.
Instead of sending battle ships that are facing with each other and waiting to fire, nation should send professional skill diplomats, the men who are trained in handling international relations. They are like plumbers, they stop leaks before the house could be flooded, they open clogged drains before the effluvia could produce epidemics. And modern minded people, the enlightened, educated, prosperous people who could have no interest in war, their skills would be all the more efficacious.
I hope that the lesson from the First World War should be learned and never forgotten.
There is a saying that “History repeats itself” but we should not forget the catastrophic effects of the First World War, and hope and pray that those things will never happen again. /MP