The argument that was posed by Henry Cabot Lodge is far more logical and concise than that of John Sharp Williams. Lodge provided a systematic analysis and opposition to the notion of joining the League of Nations by virtue of his emphasis on the critical nature of maintaining sovereignty. Conversely, Williams purported that America should be commissioned to compromise independence for the beneficence of mankind. As such, it is essential to discuss specific points raised by Lodge that were most compelling to provide a comprehensive explanation for supporting his position.
The verbiage included in the articles of the covenant is alarmingly broad in scope given that the League of Nations members may interfere in “any matter affecting the peace of this world”; therefore, this directive cannot be actualized in the absence of micromanaging other nations and disrupting their internal affairs. As Lodge stated, this level of power authorized through an ‘alliance’ is objectionable on many levels. While Lodge indicated that Europe’s choice to join the League of Nations is entirely autonomous on their part, it is not permissible for them to interfere with or attempt to control America. It is critical to note Lodge’s argument supporting the role of Congress in determining whether acts of war are appropriate. The League of Nations alliance would render the Congress powerless; therefore, the liberty and authority of the United States (US) would be significantly compromised as a result. Article 10 specifically indicated that all members promise to protect other members against external aggression. Given that the League makes no attempt to discern between the nature of specific conflicts, this expectation is representative of a very slippery slope by which nations may abuse their power as a product of the alliance.
Lodge also revealed that the articles are largely focused on acts of war, as opposed to methods by which peace may be effectively promoted. The provisions delineated in the articles compel members to use force, whereas efforts towards peace have been marginalized. Article 11 empowers League members to “take any action which may be necessary” to ensure the safety of the world. This particular demand is very direct and aggressive. In fact, this article also supports economic warfare wherein members would be commissioned to boycott other nations, thereby leading to potential issues of starvation by virtue of having trade and food supplies disrupted. These articles were clearly composed to implement a military state on a global scale, as nations could be subjected to direct and indirect force.
The US would gain nothing by surrendering independence to join with other nations for the purposes outlined in the articles. It is unfathomable to even consider rendering this nation so vulnerable insofar that American troops could be ordered to fight in another nation – by another nation. Such a proposition could result in decreased military enlistment, which would then lead to policies that compel citizens to serve time in one of the military branches. It is certainly not difficult to foresee the plausibility of this notion, given the fact that other nations do demand that their citizens serve in the military by virtue of an increased need for service. In essence, the power to declare war is vested in Congress, and Congress represents the people. In fact, the US has proven, throughout history, a great willingness to come to the aid of other nations in distress. However, the decision was made internally, and through acts of free will. Instead of focusing on multiple conditions that compel nations to engage in warlike acts, the articles would better serve humanity if they were focused on methods by which peace may be promoted through a unified effort to resolve international conflicts through discourse and negotiations.