As I watched the D-Day ceremonies this past week a thought crept into my head, “the world paid an enormous price for not confronting Germany when it violated the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles in the 1930s.” The free nations of the world that defeated Germany in 1918 had neither the will to enforce the conditions of the Treaty, nor wisdom to renegotiate the Treaty so as to alleviate the economic hardships that spawned the National Socialist movement inside of Germany. When Germany, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, acted aggressively the free nations of the world acted weakly and approximately 3% of the world’s population would die — between 70 and 85 million people would perish in World War II.
Coincidentally, I have been listening to lectures about the American General, Secretary of Defense & Secretary of State George C. Marshall. Marshall helped build/rebuild the US Army three times in his life… for World War I, for World War II and for the Korean War. His conclusion — only by maintaining a military and alliances with free nations that could and would destroy any nation that attempted to usurp the rules based world order could free nations avoid war on a massive scale.
When you combine the first thought with the lessons that General Marshall came to a question formed in my mind yesterday: have today’s world leaders ever understood this lesson? Or, have they forgotten a lesson that cost the lives of 70-85 million people from 1936-1945?
We’ll talk about peace through strength.