Michael Lind in Salon:
President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize has been justified by some because it draws attention to the goal he endorses of ridding the world of nuclear weapons. I share that goal, but not because nuclear weapons are uniquely horrible — if you're a victim, it makes little difference whether you're killed or maimed by nuclear weapons or conventional weapons, which sometimes can create lingering illnesses and poison the landscape, too. I support the abolition of nuclear weapons because, if it were successful, it would lock in the advantages of the small number of great powers like the U.S. that are capable of building and maintaining first-class conventional militaries.
The goal of American liberal internationalism, since the days of Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt, has been what Wilson called “a community of power” — a great power concert whose members collaborate to keep the peace. This is different from the conservative vision of unilateral U.S. hegemony. But whether you think the law should be enforced by a posse or a single sheriff, you want the law officers to be better armed than the law-breakers.