Should Any State Strive To Be Neutral?

Human beings were not always as separate as they are now. The first people to walk the earth were all closely related with a need to keep near each other to benefit from strength in numbers. Predators roamed that could not be taken down by a single man but could easily be dispatched by a team. As that small band grew, groups began to splinter off, tribes developed and through migration, different races even began to emerge. This led over hundreds of thousands of years to the concept of nations states that we currently live under. We have flags, anthems and laws that represent our affiliations and countries form alliances with each other. The question remains, even in a world as regulated as ours, should any country aspire to neutrality?

Being a better target

One of the problems with neutrality is that it can make a country appear weak. In a conflict, the one that wants to remain uninvolved can only have that position respected if the country that is being aggressive sees that concept as deserving of respect. There are groups that have a very clear agenda of world domination and would readily appropriate the lands and resources of any state that appears unable or unwilling to defend itself.

Standing by in the face of Atrocities

To truly uphold its neutrality, a country must not allow itself to get embroiled in external conflicts no matter what. This can mean standing by while terrible things take place even though they have the power to stop them. Initially this may not seem so bad but over time as more and more people die, get maimed, raped or sold into slavery, this stance can begin to feel cowardly or even inexcusable.

Avoiding taking the wrong side

This may be one of the few positives to staying on the fence. A country that never picks a side can never pick the wrong side. This means that if history reveals that the side in a conflict that seemed to be wrong was in fact right, the mistakes that ensued would not be able to be laid at the feet of the neutral state.

There have been few countries that have attempted neutrality for a reason. It is a hard ideal to uphold and it takes a great deal of resolve to maintain that position at times. There may be a time when such a stance is easier.