Courtesy Reuters

Coalition for Peace

FROM the time of the Dumbarton Oaks Conference, overenthusiastic advocates of the United Nations emphasized its function as a guarantee of peace and failed to explain that if the guarantee were ever to be reliable the organization would have to develop the opposite and much less palatable function -- it would have to fit itself to make war. Actually, of course, the Charter not only specifically authorized wars against aggression but pledged members to take part in them. Its authors did not expect that the long shadow in which mankind has always lived could be obliterated at one stroke, but hoped that it might be reduced. They therefore did not "outlaw" war as such, but tried to arrange that any future aggressive force which might appear would be inferior in strength to forces already assembled to deal with it. Thus a potential aggressor might be induced to stay his hand, or if he did not, might be defeated -- in the one case at the risk of war, in the other by war.

The present risk of war, however, comes not so much from the possibility that the Charter must be enforced as from the lack of means to enforce it. The obligation of United Nations members to support the purposes and principles set forth in Articles 1 and 2 of the Charter still exists; but all efforts at Lake Success and Flushing Meadows to match this obligation with preparations for action have been thwarted. The work of the Security Council, which must make decisions involving enforcement, has been stalemated by the Soviet Union's abuse of the veto. So has the work of its two all-important committees. The Military Staff Committee, which was to have forearmed the Council by arranging the military contingents to be supplied to it by members, has been prevented from making any significant progress in that direction; and the Atomic Energy Commission, on which the world's eyes were fixed in desperation and hope, has suspended deliberations, having failed to

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