Heavyweight contenders with large nuclear arsenals and vast armies like the United States, Russia and China would be able to do battle only with each other, and banned from fighting middleweight countries like England, Israel or North Korea or lightweights like Cuba, Nigeria or Denmark, according to the outlandish-sounding plan suggested in a recent article by Swiss military historian Peter Klinghoffer.
“Independent observers like myself are frankly bored by all these lopsided wars between mismatched opponents – the ultimate outcomes are much too predictable,” argues Klinghoffer.
“When the United States goes to war against a resort island like Grenada, a tiny banana republic like Panama, or a third-rate dictatorship like Iraq, the result is a foregone conclusion – in fact, the bigger power can end up looking like a schoolyard bully.
“The system I’m proposing will ensure a level playing field.”
The most exciting wars in history have been between equally matched opponents, notes the professor, citing World War II, which pitted the Allies against the formidable Axis powers.
The bizarre plan even calls for a featherweight division including tiny countries like Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and Vatican City, which would “allow these nations, too, to partake in the fruits of war.”
The United Nations would oversee the weight-classification system, and would be authorized to impose severe economic sanctions on any nation that declared war on a country outside its category, Klinghoffer explains.
But it looks like the proposal is headed for an early-round knockout. U.S. officials say any such system would tie America’s hands in international affairs and call the whole idea insulting.
“It’s absurd – America would be prevented from going to war with virtually every country in the world,” blasts a Department of Defense official.
“What’s more, to suggest that soldiers who fight against a smaller country are somehow less heroic is a slap in the face to every American who served in Grenada, Panama and in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“The fact is, the smaller countries are sometimes even more dangerous, like a little guy who picks a fight in a bar because he feels like he’s got something to prove.”