In the first place, what is neutrality as the meaning of the word is applied to international relations? The dictionary tells us that it is the state of being a neutral nation during a war in which states taking no part in the contest continue friendly relations with both belligerents. It sounds easy, does it not? But if, after exhausting the resources of diplomacy, of conciliation, of intermediation, and of arbitration, the cause of dispute between two nations is so deep-rooted antipathetically to national traditions, to national welfare, to national existence itself, as to cause them to resort to the arbitrament of force, each belligerent nation will demand from neutral nations such assistance from time to time in the course of the struggle as may seem likely to assist the one, or handicap the other in the prosecution of the struggle. Indeed, from the dawn of commercial relations between nations, it has been the desire of neutrals to continue the commercial relations of peace subsequent to the establishment of belligerency. Each belligerent seeks to weaken the other to the point where further resistance can no longer be offered.
Neutrality—Can It Be Maintained By a World Power?
By Rear Admiral W. C. Cole, U. S. Navy