The Guise of Collective Defense


Many countries’ rearmament efforts have progressively been visible in recent times. These countries are determined to end all doubts about their international ambitions and reassert their statuses as first-tier nations. To that end, their governments have adopted aggressive domestic-policy agendas that seek first to re-energize their economies, which will then serve as foundations for better international roles. This rearmament process may have dire consequences on world peace. Though all these are done in the guise of collective defense, it could be a move towards global hegemony on their part.

To site a few examples, the Japanese prime minister and his cabinet have moved forward to re-militarize Japan under the guise of collective self-defense. Russia’s Defense Ministry announced that the government will work for the reinforcement of the country’s military, with more focus on the rearmament of nuclear deterrence forces, so that Western powers cannot outclass Russia in military capabilities. The United States in particular has refined this strategy to include the defense of democracy around the world, intervening where it claims there are deficiencies. North Korea too will not be left out. Yesterday, Kim Jong Un, President of North Korea in what would be the latest display of the country’s advancing military capabilities compared the launch to ‘a time bomb which will go off on the backs of our hostile enemies at any time’ following the successful underwater test of a ballistic missile. A submarine launched the missile at a location far from the North Korean mainland, the North Korean state news agency reported.

In the light of North Korea’s latest mission, South Korea’s presidential Blue House held an emergency national Security Council meeting to review the threat and discuss possible countermeasures. This has urged the US to ask North Korea to refrain from actions that further raise tensions in the region and focus instead on taking concrete steps toward fulfilling its international commitments and obligations. What better way to threaten world peace than engage in an arms race?

Saturday’s test would violate multiple UN Security Council resolutions banning North Korea from using ballistic missile technology. Same goes for the other rearmament efforts. While declining to talk about any specific intelligence matters, a U.S. State Department official said more generally that launches using ballistic missile technology are a clear violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions. The United Nations has a range of sanctions at its disposal with which to coerce states and non-governmental actors to improve their behaviors in the interests of international peace and security. These range from comprehensive economic and trade sanctions to sanctions that target political and military elites. One cannot help but remind the people of present the final outcome of Adolf Hitler’s use of collective defense to invade its neighbor to the east.

Nina Forgwe

Executive Director of the Organization for World Peace,African Region. Nina Forgwe is a graduate from the Pan African University Institute of Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences- African Union Commission from where she holds a Master's degree in Governance and Regional Integration.Nina also holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree from the University of Buea, Cameroon. Being from the Central African Sub region which is affected by the Boko Haram insurgency, she has developed an interest in the cycle of conflict; its prevention, management and resolution. She, therefore, dedicates her time to furthering the idea of non-combative conflict resolution through her work with the OWP.

About Nina Forgwe

Executive Director of the Organization for World Peace, African Region. Nina Forgwe is a graduate from the Pan African University Institute of Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences- African Union Commission from where she holds a Master's degree in Governance and Regional Integration. Nina also holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree from the University of Buea, Cameroon. Being from the Central African Sub region which is affected by the Boko Haram insurgency, she has developed an interest in the cycle of conflict; its prevention, management and resolution. She, therefore, dedicates her time to furthering the idea of non-combative conflict resolution through her work with the OWP.