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I've heard a lot of unofficial stories regarding various steps that were taken at the end of WW2 to prevent a WW3. What were these steps? Did they work? Or is America's status as a superpower a deterrent against warlike situations across the world?

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    Are you talking about peace in Europe? What would WWIII look like? Large coalitions have made war since then. There's been constant violence by states in countless countries since it ended. If the picture is millions of men hunting each other, I'd say technology. But I'm not trying to answer your question...sorry, I think you need to define world war in the current context. You mentioned nuclear war and an agreement to prevent it, but between who, and enforced by whom? How many states need to announce their exceptionalism before such an agreement's lost the power to prevent war? – Louis Nov 1 '14 at 13:59
  • Major war is relative, there have been major wars. My friend got permission to travel out of the States to fight in the Bosnian war, before my Air Force got permission to prevent anything. There have been several instances of reporting on genocides in our lifetimes...I feel like you're ignoring a large portion of Earth if your view is the world's been at peace with minor warring. I'd like to give the West more credit for creating wealth in peace than a US deterrent. But clearly no military alliance has prevented war globally, or deterred its members from projecting war. – Louis Nov 1 '14 at 14:15
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    It would be nice if you tell us what these "unofficial stories" says. – Semaphore Nov 1 '14 at 14:30
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    @PrahladYeri There was no such thing. – Semaphore Nov 1 '14 at 15:36
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    Question demonstrates no prior research, references uncited rumors, and asks if we have had WW3 yet. This appears to be a solicitation for discussion, not a serious question. – Mark C. Wallace Nov 1 '14 at 22:14
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There really is a whole list of things that were done to prevent WW3. So I would have to consider this question to be a bit of a laundry list question. However, one of the major things that the US did to prevent WWII is to not make the same mistake that it made after the end of WWI. It did not beat the losing side into the ground. In fact, the allied nations did quite a bit to help rebuild the axis nations. In this way, it prevented reemergence of the same resentment and desperation that instigated Germany's involvement in WWII.

The Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program, ERP) was the American initiative to aid Europe, in which the United States gave $17 billion (approximately $160 billion in current dollar value) in economic support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II. (Wikipedia)

  • Same is true for peace with Japan. Numerous financial and economic aids also included technology transfer and knowledge transfe. E.g. Toyota's famous "kaizen" method was actually grown out from an American management training program, and even its name is coming from an instructional film made by the Americans (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizen). – Greg Nov 5 '14 at 2:26

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