The American Peace began with Japan’s surrender on August 14th, 1945. Since then, none of the great powers of the world have made war on one another. It is the goal of American foreign policy that none of them do so in the future. Wars kill people and are bad for business, and the American people will attempt to prevent the outbreak of war whenever possible.
America has done all of that for the last 73 years, and will continue to do so, for as long as it can. We’re able to do it because of our unique position in the world. We are the strongest country, and will be for the foreseeable future. And because we live on a island of hemispheric proportions, we are far more secure than any power on earth. We have half the globe, from 150 degrees East to 30 degrees West of Greenwich, all to ourselves and our friends and dependents in North and South America.
We have no territorial ambitions, and no worries. Our hemisphere is an autarky – economically self sufficient, if need be. The other great powers of the world, Russia, China, Japan and Europe (and, perhaps, India) have inherent conflicts with one another. We have no skin in any of these disputes, and are able to act as a disinterested and fair minded referee. We brokered the peace between Japan and Russia in 1906, and our natural role is one of honest broker.
Before World War One there was a general peace of a hundred years, from the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to 1914. It was a balance of power peace, with Great Britain as the balancing power. It is the the years of the World Wars, from 1914 to 1945, which will be looked back on as an aberration.
The American Peace, which began in 1945, could last for God knows how long. I was born in 1945, five weeks in to the American Peace, and it’s the only thing I’ve known. It’s our gift to the world.