In the spring of 1927, French Foreign Minister Aristide Briand proposed a bilateral non-aggression pact with the United States. U.S. Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg proposed a multilateral treaty signed by all major world powers. The French agreed and the Kellogg-Briand Pact was signed in 1928 and came into force on July 24, 1929. In the end, 47 other nations followed, but the agreement had little effect in halting the rise of militarism in the 1930s and the outbreak of World War II. Elements of these elements were then incorporated into the Charter of the United Nations and other treaties. The missing element in all these statements, in other words, is the prohibition of war. Maybe the Kellogg-Briand pact wasn`t so stupid. Nor does the pact deserve the importance That Hathaway and Shapiro have given it.
To save him from oblivion, they show how seriously many contemporaries still took him in the two decades after 1928. But they do not show that the pact was central or even necessary for the transformation of the laws of war, a process that historians date from the entire period of the two world wars and attribute to a multitude of sources. If this logic seems strange, it is because the international order changed in the 20th century. Today, we consider war to be anarchic and we turn to the law to stop it. The end of the war has become the business of the world, even at the risk of inflating small regional wars into unlimited and global wars. Although violence seems to persist, Hathaway and Shapiro are encouraged by the results. They focus on wars of conquest and set up data sets that would have shown how these conflicts crashed in frequency. After the wars of conquest took place on average every 10 months from 1816 to 1928 over the past seven decades, both claim that the wars of conquest have weakened over the past seven decades at an average rate of every four years. The book covers a vast historical soil, from 1603, when a Dutch merchant attacked and plundered a Portuguese ship in waters outside Singapore, until the birth of the Islamic State.
The general argument is that it was wise to ban the 1928 war, because war was previously seen as a legitimate instrument of national politics. The veters argued that, since the old system was based on the legality of war, the way to replace it was to make war illegal. Hathaway and Shapiro tell us that Salmon Levinson used the duel analogy.