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DISARMAMENT AND INTERNATIONALISM Introduction In the years immediatelyafter World War Ithe view developed that it was the existence of the massive military machines of the European powers that had made war possible in 1914Thus it followed that if another disaster were to be avoidedthese military machines needed to be destroyedA war cannot be fought without military powerFurthermore it was argued that the existence of large armed forces meant that any move made by any power was greeted with fear and suspicionConsequently there was always the danger that an isolated incident could escalate into something more serious Unfortunatelydespite all the good intentionsthe story of disarmament between 1919 and the 1932 Disarmament Conference is a story of failure Specific proposals contained too many flaws and nations took diametrically opposed positions on the entire issueIn some ways it could be argued that disarmament was and still isa logically impossible The first step in disarmament after the war was the treatment meted out to Germany in the Treaty of VersaillesIt was hoped that this would begin a general move towards disarmamentArticle 8 of the League Covenant saw disarmament as a specific goal The members of the League recognise that the maintenance of peace requires the reduction of national armaments to the lowest point consistent with national safety and the enorcement by common action of international obligations Reasons for the Failure of Disarmament In the same way that France found it impossible to compromise over the issue of reparationsso it found it impossible to do so over disarmament Britain saw disarmament as a means of achieving securityFrance believed that it was necessary to first achieve security before the process of disarmament could begin The French viewed Germany as a potentially powerful nation of 70 million Francea nation of 4 millionwould always be at Germanys mercy unless it could be sure of an allyso it aimed at keeping Germany weak and could not move on disarmament until
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