Niccolo Machiavelli says: "Conquered states that have been accustomed to liberty and the government of their own laws can be held by the conqueror in three different ways. The first is to ruin them, the second is to go and reside with them; and third is to allow them to continue to live under their own laws, subject to a regular tribute, and to create in them a government of a few, who will keep the country friendly to the conqueror." This has been a set of beliefs held strongly by all the colonial powers in the past; is being followed in the present and would continue in the future. Within a few weeks of Obama's coronation it has become clear that he will be as aggressive and bellicose as his immediate predecessors G W Bush, Bill Clinton, the senior Bush and Ronald Reagan. After eight long years of Bush's futile War On Terror that destroyed the global peace, people were expecting that there will be a new tone in US war policy. The new tone is that the essence will not change at all, nor will the forms. The optimism about the change was lost when at the 45th Munich Security Conference Joe Biden, the nouveau US vice president, announced a new tone in America's global relations. After some perfunctory remarks about actions taken to combat the current economic mayhem and some lip service to common economic interests and the need for a vigorous environmental and energy conservation policy, Biden touched the core issues of Afghanistan and Iran and the US resolve to have things its way. Or as he put it, "We are going to attempt to recapture the totality of US strength starting with diplomacy." He issued some ominous threats that the US would be guided by the principle that there "is no conflict between our security and our ideals." This observation is an allusion to the paranoid security measures introduced by Bush administration to enslave its own citizens in order to achieve its foreign policy objectives, while at the same time is directed against the world at large to the extent that the US would use force. "The force of arms won our liberty and throughout our history this force has protected our freedom," said Biden. This is both a threat and distortion of historical reality. It, in fact, was the force of French arms that won the US independence, and since then the US has been using its own forces to wage wars against the weak tribal and the third world countries to secure access to their natural resources. This US "freedom" was never really challenged by anyone. All designated American enemies have either been bogus or grossly exaggerated. History stands as testimony to the fact that there was not yet a single year without war known to mankind since time immemorial. The biggest anomaly still remains: Is it really possible to avert wars? Throughout human history, people hear from mighty warriors that there would be no more wars and things would change, but nothing has changed so far. Even today, there are about thirty ongoing wars around the world. How and who will end these wars? The UNO, International Laws and Conventions, who? The suffering masses look to the heavens for answer. The League of Nations failed after the World War I, and the UNO established after World War II to stop wars between countries, to provide a platform for dialogue and to maintain international peace, security and justice. The UN does have very noble charters and articles, but has miserably failed (like the League of Nations) to maintain international peace and security because some powerful members do not respect 'its Charter'. Why the UN is incapable to uphold the international peace and security? Perhaps, statements by the former US President Bush and former US Ambassador Biden would provide the raison d'etre. President Bush said: "Free nations will not allow the UN to fade into history as an ineffective and irrelevant debating forum." While Biden remarked callously: "There is no such thing as the United Nations, but an international community that can only be led by the sole superpower, which is the United States." Because of such extraneous rhetoric and hegemony of a few member states as the permanent members of the Security Council, the UN has not been able to prevent wars. It can only assist member states on humanitarian issues and try to keep peace with impotent peacekeeping missions after the military operations are over. In such a situation the UN General Assembly has become just a museum of peace or antique, as it can just pass a resolution, and that's all. Its implementation or otherwise depends upon the Big Five in the Security Council. United States cannot, by itself, resolve the mess it has created in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. As a matter of fact, Washington has never been able to solve its major international puzzles by itself, nor to fight its wars without calling in the help of others. Joe Biden put it to the Munich Conference: "As we undertake a review of our policy on Afghanistan and Pakistan, we seek ideas and inputs from you and all our partners. We genuinely seek those ideas and we are sincere in seeking your counsel." Washington seems to be at its wits end trying to salvage what it still can from the pathetic bungling in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It hopes more troops will solve the problem, like it mistakenly believes that more dollars thrown at bankrupt financial institutions will solve its economic mess at home. It now is increasing pressure on NATO countries to chip in and send more troops into the Afghan death trap. At the same time, the military chief of US troops in the Middle East and Central Asia, General Petraeus echoed Biden's clamour for more NATO troops and ticked off a list of requirements for Afghanistan including more special operations forces, transport, attack helicopters, fixed-wing warplanes, medical evacuation units, military police, engineering units and trainers for the Afghan army and police. And mind you at a time, when the world is in the grip of the most serious economic slump. Richard Holbrooke, the US envoy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, also joined the chorus urging the Munich audience to send more men and weapons to fight what he called an existential campaign in Afghanistan. The question is; what the NATO members would do? Will they obey the new emperor in Washington, or will they finally realise the man has no clothes. The prevalent economic depression might as well induce caution. Most European governments are terrified of the political fallout from the current economic disaster and have called a meeting to discuss emergency measures. The political future looks very bleak. The Iceland government has already been forced out, and no wonder other governments would be brought down by angry crowds. The spirit of revolution is in the air that does not augur well for political stability. The European countries would be forced to make a choice between serving Washington or the people who voted them in. For almost 60 years, they have been serving the former. Now, they might be forced, for once, to do the latter. Afghanistan is the fourth or fifth poorest country in the world and efforts to create some kind of Central Asian Valhalla (the mythic heaven where Norse heroes, the Vikings live) would be catastrophic, because neither the US nor its NATO allies have that kind of time, patience, money and manpower. There is no military solution in Afghanistan and its adjacent tribal belt of Pakistan. As the old saying goes: "It is easy to reach and conquer Kabul, but there has never been a safe way back." This has been the Afghan history since the times of Alexander the Great. The Soviets learned it the hard way and the US and its NATO allies are facing similar mire in Afghanistan. It would, perhaps, be more prudent to stop hanging out in Afghan graveyards. They are, after all, meant for burials and not resurrections. The writer is a former inspector general of police