Although conflicts still rage all over the world, including life shattering civil wars, there haven’t been any full blown international scale wars in a little over seven decades. However, this doesn’t mean that world peace has been achieved, not by a long shot. Nonetheless, we sort of seem to be on our way toward it regardless. World war was hopefully just a thing of the 20th century. After WWI ended the League of Nations was established in 1920 to prevent WWII from ever happening. Unfortunately, they failed in that mission. So, the United Nations took over in 1945, and has been successful in maintaining global peace ever since.
Today there are currently more than 125,000 UN personnel from more than 125 different countries deployed all around the world. So, if the localized conflicts that we have seen throughout the world keep on diminishing in size, then one day war might just go away altogether. Based on the current trend toward world peace, in the last five years there have been a few major conflicts in which 10,000 people have died, several that have killed 1,000 or more, and only slightly more than a dozen that took more than 100 lives. The point is that the nations of the world are all externally peaceful although some of them are still battling internally. None-the-less, this is actually progress. More and more conflicts are now ending in diplomatic negotiations as time goes on, and that’s a very good thing.
As it turns out, when multinational wars break out the loss of life tends to increase exponentially. After all, regional governments are able to mobilize huge forces with vast logistic effort to help supply powerful armies. Fortunately, the downsizing of conflict in the 21st century after the huge uptick in the 20th is very reassuring. Up until the 1990's most civil wars were brought to end with brute force, but now most international conflicts are resolved diplomatically. So, as democratization and globalization increases, the United Nations Security Council needs to be ever more vigilant, and the International Criminal Court needs to be far more involved with things. At the same time, each country needs to be respectful of every other nation’s autonomy. Either way, war doesn’t seem to be as successful as it used to be, but we would need more data to know for sure. Although, if we can make it all the way through to the 22nd century without WWIII breaking out then things will probably be alright.
Of course, tactics need to to change with the world around them. Maintaining the balance of world superpowers is no longer the main objective since the end of the Cold War. In the past, UN peace operations focused on establishing frontiers and serving as a buffer between boundaries. Peacekeepers were routinely stationed on the borders as part of standard protocol. Lately though the international community is thinking about security differently. The strength of a state is essential to peaceful relations with it, so current missions focus more on protecting citizens from each other as well as gross corruptions of government. At the moment the goal is mainly to achieve popular sovereignty for the masses. Ultimately, it’s the responsibility of the UN to protect the people of Earth by guaranteeing them basic human rights. Without a doubt, the protection of citizens mandate should be the number one priority.
Now that nations are more safe from without they need to be more safe from within. This shifts the focused toward the citizens of each country rather than the state itself. Applying this in the field during operations can be extremely difficult. It always leads to some form of compromise on the ground. Thus, there are two kinds of operations that have to be done simultaneously. There has to be personnel on unstable borders and in the unstable regions themselves. To fight against terrorists and tyrants the UN needs to do more inside borders than along them at the moment though. As we have seen time and time again it can be very dangerous for leaders to make unilateral decisions without any parliamentary oversight. That’s why peacekeeping missions are being replaced by stabilization missions. This is the task at hand, which then creates a feedback loop of peacekeeping and peacemaking.
So, in spite of current tensions around the world, war will turn out to be a passing phase of Type 0 civilizations as they move into Type 1 together. In all likelihood, if humanity can prevent nuclear annihilation then we will eventually progress toward a thriving interplanetary species. Undoubtedly, as the world gets smaller and smaller through international trade and travel it will become less and less likely to engage in attempted genocides and large scale battles. This much needed push toward peace is vital to our hope for survival. The UN has to serve as an effective stage upon which the concerns of countries and their citizens can be properly articulated. We will not make it into the future without successful diplomatic negotiations, plain and simple. For the sake of humanity, the nations of the world must come to terms with one another.