About 1940 or so (the question of exactly when the story was written is a bit in debate), Robert Heinlein wrote "Solution Unsatisfactory". This tale, which could be called the first of his "Patrol" stories, tells about how the development of a new technology (radioactive dust) forced the development of an organization that had to create peace at all costs, lest the weapons of war exterminate humanity. But, it ultimately falls onto the one man-whom could die tomorrow of a heart attack from his weak heart or from falling down stairs-to keep the whole mess from flying apart.
Which leads us to the newest Gundam series, Mobile Suit Gundam 00. I'm already on the second episode, and I've already begun to noticed that the guy behind the curtain is not doing a really good job of pulling the strings, running the console, and he's missing some of the notes.
Let's start with the premise-about 300 years from now, the Earth has pretty much flowed into three major governmental organizations, all of which control an orbital elevator that feeds their countries with energy (and presumably access to space, such as the Moon and the rest of the Solar System). Wars are still being fought, but they're mostly small, proxy wars that change very little. To this end, a mysterious organization called Celestial Being, using highly advanced technology in the form of the Gundam mobile suits, has sworn to end all wars between nations. Regardless of whom is the aggressor or the defender, Celestial Being will come down and destroy both sides.
This is a nice, lovely, Tranzi concept that is annoying as hell-probably the dream that a lot of European and such politicians have of the United Nations. But, the question becomes-if they are impartial to support either side in a war, does Celestial Being merely act as another way to preserve the status quo?
The first, real "mission" of Celestial Being is a battle in Sri Lanka, where the Human Reform League (which is China with other national bits) supports the government against the Tamil Tigers. In this battle, the Gundam pretty much exterminate the Human Reform League army and end the battle...and stops the Tamil Tigers from following up the battle. So, the HRL remains pretty much in control of Sri Lanka...and, while Celestial Being has stopped the "conventional" engagement of both sides, it hasn't prevented the Tamil Tigers, for example, from sneaking in somebody with a overcoat of Semtex. Hell, both sides are a hotbed of so many religious and ethnic messes, that maybe the presence of a foreign military is a good thing-it gives them all something to shoot at that isn't their own neighbors.
So, what is the ultimate goal of Celestial Being? Their avowed goal is to end all wars...how?
If a Shia wanders into a Shiite market and blows himself up with a Semtex overcoat, what does Celestial Being do? Hell, what will they do for a more conventional, infantry battle? Commit slaughter on the scale of the Soviet Union?
(Of course, the director of the series of Seiji Mizushima, whom directed Full Metal Alchemist. The series could be politically...quirky.)
Another factor I noticed was that nobody claims Africa...so, whom does claim Africa? Or have the powers of the world let Africa sink, rather than try and pour more treasure, lives, and time into that rat-hole?
I'm actually curious about how they'll solve the problems their plot makes for them. I have an idea of how I'd do it, and I wonder if our ideas will match at any point...