by Colin Deas
Costa Rica. When you hear about this country, you think of beautiful ocean shores, lush free rainforests, and a wonderfully tropical climate. What you probably don’t think of is neutrality. This small country became militarily neutral in December 1948 after President José Figueres Ferrer permanently abolished their armed forces. All that remains now are small security and foreign peacekeeping forces now, and their entire military budget has been reallocated to promoting education, security, and culture.
Now, this is a really cool idea. And there have been a number of countries to adopt this tactic in the past century or so; in fact, Liechtenstein hasn’t had a military since 1868. But what would happen if a country like the United States were to abolish their military? Would the balance of power in the world shift? Would we be lead into an apocalypse?
We might. A powerful, nuclear-missile-rich country like China or the US or Russia might decide that it’s the perfect time to take over a rich country with little or no defense, and kick off another world war. There will always be bad people in the world, and they inevitably make it into governments worldwide. There’s the possibility of war anytime a major country changes its military in any way. If a major player were to abolish their military entirely, another country may decide that it’s time to invade.
But I like to think, however unlikely it may be, that other countries would follow suit. Armies, navies, and air forces would fall like dominoes as one country after another realized that the best way to create a global peace is to get rid of the methods by which peace is destroyed. The massive amount of money that is currently funded into military research and upkeep could be put towards more necessary things. We could fund new scientific and medical research, we could provide everyone around the world with clean food and water, or even, just maybe, fund our freaking schools! In short, we could take a step towards creating a worldwide utopia.