Originally posted by segovius
That's true - it is a problem and unfortunately I doubt there is a solution.
Vote a libertarian into the driver's seat and you'll see the solution not only exists, but is amazingly simple. No one in their right mind wants war. The logical thing to do is to have a minimal military that specializes in defense, making any attack upon the state so costly, it's not worth it to attack. It's directly beneficial for any state to have such an minimal military
. When other states, potential threats, follow suit, the size of the military can be cut further according to the level of threat at that point. If others arm themselves more, the military has to be grown, but always keeping it as small as possible while securing the state from attack.
Tampering with other states' affairs can only be counterproductive. The folks who'll deal with anyone else by means of free trade, will be the most successful in the long run. If the others are particularly insistent on not trading with each other, the one state that trades with everybody could prosper by that arbitration alone.
In the long run, prosperity results in peace (and vice versa). People who are well off have the most to lose in a war, and typically nothing to gain. Besides, when there is enough free trade between states, various industries specialize and concentrate with little regard of borders, and the states develop a reliance on each other. This makes war a doubly costly proposition, since not only do they need to incur the huge expense of war both in money and lives, but they lose a big part of the trade that sustains them, until they have emerged from the war victorious and
restarted production, which might prove near impossible.