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Imagine by any cause, we lose all governments on earth and instead get one single government ruling the whole planet. It could be for example the UN (or any other super power organization) getting so big and powerful, taking over the earth. By that I don't mean like forcing people to this but rather peacefully agreeing on it (let's just consider it to be likely).

There will be still needs of a police force or an army to counter terrorists, rebels, etc.

But:

  • Will that situation lead to great amount of decrease in military budget, compared to current governments?
  • Will that help the spread of peace, considering the government is not in war with itself and there is no local power capable of competing?

A global government can be discussed and looked at from so many different perspectives (social, economic, cultural, etc). But I'm mainly asking about a military point of view!

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  • $\begingroup$ You cannot just look at the military aspect without looking at the reasons to deploy them. More detailed: Most wars are not fught against some "great evil", but to gain economic advantages (for some, at least) $\endgroup$
    – Burki
    Mar 16 '16 at 9:34
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    $\begingroup$ @Burki, I meant not to broaden the question and I am seeking an answer only talking about what will happen to military and not explaining details about other stuff $\endgroup$
    – azerafati
    Mar 16 '16 at 9:40
  • $\begingroup$ Don't get me wrong, i like your question. But i think that it cannot be answered the way it is asked. $\endgroup$
    – Burki
    Mar 16 '16 at 9:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Burki, please elaborate more and help to fix it $\endgroup$
    – azerafati
    Mar 16 '16 at 9:43
  • $\begingroup$ I will try... in short, as stated, you can reduce wars by reducing the reasons. The decrease in military funding will be a result, not the cause, of the decrease in military activities. $\endgroup$
    – Burki
    Mar 16 '16 at 9:45
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Yes, it will lead to a great decrease in military budget.

The armed forces that remain will have two or three tasks:

  1. Prevent the rise of any other armed force, in effect counter-insurgency operations.
  2. Provide assistance after large-scale disasters
  3. (Possibly) prepare to fight off an alien invasion.

The vast majority of expensive military hardware currently in use is aimed at defeating other armies' expensive military hardware. That kind of hardware would be almost impossible for any independent armed force to obtain or maintain. You can scrap 90% of those from the budget. Think nuclear subs, long range bombers, ICBMs, all except one or two naval carrier groups, artillery divisions and large tank battlegroups, they're not needed anymore.

Small rapid reaction forces are pretty much all that is needed, with a handful of planes or or drones giving instant air superiority and boots on the ground being the most vital part of any mission, because bombs don't restore peace, people do.

No, it will not help that much to spread global peace.

The single global army would probably be spread thin putting out fires all over the world and getting itself into all kinds "quagmires" that takes days to get into and years to get out of. It can't get too heavy-handed for fear of protests against its legitimacy but it can't let people arm themselves either.

In addition, it would end up like the UN army now: composed of regiments from many different countries that clash about languages, culture, chains of command, etc. It would get worse when it's the only army, so all countries are jockeying for more influence over it to protect their interests. The army may end up paralyzed whenever it is called on to act against the interests of one of the more powerful factions, very much like the UN now because of veto powers.

Over all, not much will change except that the politics are happening inside the single government and inside the army, rather than between governments.

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  • $\begingroup$ yea nice answer! ballistic rockets will not be needed anymore! $\endgroup$
    – azerafati
    Mar 16 '16 at 10:04
  • $\begingroup$ I just added a list of what won't be needed anymore. $\endgroup$
    – Cyrus
    Mar 16 '16 at 10:07
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    $\begingroup$ The reason the UN army isn't very efficient is because there really isn't one. Almost everything is loaned from some government and has its own traditions and systems. The world government would be the only one with an army, so you can assume there would be a high degree of standardization and interoperability. Somewhere between the modern and civil war era US army, maybe? The US is actually a good analogue since a national guard system complemented by a federal professional army would be a good solution. $\endgroup$ Mar 16 '16 at 13:00
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In fact the peace will have to be established before your UN-like system can rule the world. Be it by force of arm or through cultural evolution and civilisational integration - or a bit of both.

The increase of peace would have to come first, then decrease in military budget, then a global government.
In the long term, things should remain more or less stable from that point as the belicists will have to be silenced before you can build this system. More or less your military will devolve into law enforcement and a few special units used for the special cases.

The exceptions are :
- the openning of new frontiers with danger that require military might to be overcome.
- the development of local protests into rebelion if things advance not as smoothly as supposed.

The other solution is a global dictatorship, with soldiers at every street corner, so, no global peace nor decrease in military budget.

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  • $\begingroup$ you're right! But I meant in the long run after the establishment of that government. $\endgroup$
    – azerafati
    Mar 16 '16 at 10:16
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Obvious Budget Cuts In Military Expenditure By A Global Government

  • long range ballistic missile programs can be stopped without any negative implications.
  • 99% (if not all) nuclear weapons can be safely neutralized and all research on nuclear devices (for military usage) can be culled. You don't need nuclear weapons against some rebel forces.
  • production of large armored artillery units (aka tanks) can be massively decreased. The world already has enough tanks armored vehicles to effectively wipe out any and all rebellions around the globe.
  • production of extensive aquatic military units (aka frigates) can be stopped. Same as above: the world already has more than enough frigates and heavy military ships to easily win all aquatic battles.
  • research facilities for next generation fighter jets would stay functional, but the production of such fighter jets can be decreased largely. *military intelligence organizations would still need to operate (although all under one authority), however their numbers can be vastly reduced.

Military Expenses Which Cannot Be Culled

  • military personnel will still be required in all regions. However the strength (number) of those military units would depend on that particular region of the world.
  • low power weaponry (guns, grenades, rocket launchers) would still need to be produced and utilized at nearly the same scale as of now.
  • some fields of military research (new gun and bullet designs, bulletproof vests etc) would still need to carry on undisturbed.
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