A treaty signed in Paris on Aug. 27, 1928 by the United States and other "major powers" which outlawed war as an instrument of policy. It mandated that all conflict be resolved via peaceful diplomacy.

Aside from instruments of ratification and listing the signatories, that was the whole of the treaty.

It quickly became moot as subsequent governments of the powers involved did not care to adhere to it, and it was undermined by the advent of undeclared war.

The United States is still technically bound by this treaty. Fortunately for U.S., this country has not formally initated a declared war in quite some time. This has not, obviously, prevented the United States from being the most militarily aggressive country on the planet.

Considering recent Presidents' use of the War Powers Act and the multiplicity of euphemisms for war these days (police action, humanitarian intervention, etc.) it is entirely possible that the United States can continue to exert its hegemony with military force and still technically keep its signing of the Kellogg-Briand Pact inviolate.

The treaty is named for Frank B. Kellog and Aristide Briand, then Secretary of State of the United States of America and the Minister of Foreign Affairs for France, respectively.

Here is the text of the American copy of the treaty:


THE PRESIDENT OF THE GERMAN REICH, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF THE BELGIANS, THE PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC, HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF GREAT BRITAIN, IRELAND AND THE BRITISH DOMINIONS BEYOND THE SEAS, EMPEROR OF INDIA, HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF ITALY, HIS MAJESTY THE EMPEROR OF JAPAN, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND THE PRESIDENT OF THE CZECHOSLOVAK REPUBLIC,

Deeply sensible of their solemn duty to promote the welfare of mankind;
Persuaded that the time has come when a frank renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy should be made to the end that the peaceful and friendly relations now existing between their peoples may be perpetuated;
Convinced that all changes in their relations with one another should be sought only by pacific means and be the result of a peaceful and orderly process, and that any signatory Power which shall hereafter seek to promote its national interests by resort to war a should be denied the benefits furnished by this Treaty;
Hopeful that, encouraged by their example, all the other nations of the world will join in this humane endeavor and by adhering to the present Treaty as soon as it comes into force bring their peoples within the scope of its beneficent provisions, thus uniting the civilized nations of the world in a common renunciation of war as an instrument of their national policy;
Have decided to conclude a Treaty and for that purpose have appointed as their respective Plenipotentiaries:
THE PRESIDENT OF THE GERMAN REICH: Dr Gustav STRESEMANN, Minister of Foreign Affairs;
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The Honorable Frank B. KELLOGG, Secretary of State;
HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF THE BELGIANS: Mr Paul HYMANS, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister of State;
THE PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC: Mr. Aristide BRIAND Minister for Foreign Affairs;
HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF GREAT BRITAIN, IRELAND AND THE BRITISH DOMINIONS BEYOND THE SEAS, EMPEROR OF INDIA: For GREAT BRITAIN and NORTHERN IBELAND and all parts of the British Empire which are not separate Members of the League of Nations: The Right Honourable Lord CUSHENDUN, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Acting-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; For the DOMINION OF CANADA: The Right Honourable William Lyon MACKENZIE KING, Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs; For the COMMONWEALTH of AUSTRLIA: The Honourable Alexander John McLACHLAN, Member of the Executive Federal Council; For the DOMINION OF NEW ZEALAND: The Honourable Sir Christopher James PARR, High Commissioner for New Zealand in Great Britain; For the UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA: The Honourable Jacobus Stephanus SMIT, High Commissioner for the Union of South Africa in Great Britain; For the IRISH FREE STATE: Mr. William Thomas COSGRAVE, President of the Executive Council; For INDIA: The Right Honourable Lord CUSHENDUN, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Acting Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs;
HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF ITALY: Count Gaetano MANZONI, his Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary at Paris.
HIS MAJESTY THE EMPEROR OF JAPAN: Count UCHIDA, Privy Councillor;
THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND:Mr. A. ZALESKI, Minister for Foreign Affairs;
THE PRESIDENT OF THE CZECHOSLOVAK REPUBLIC: Dr. Eduard BENES, Minister for Foreign Affairs;

who, having communicated to one another their full powers found in good and due form have agreed upon the following articles:

ARTICLE I

The High Contracting Parties solemly declare in the names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.

ARTICLE II

The High Contracting Parties agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means.

ARTICLE III

The present Treaty shall be ratified by the High Contracting Parties named in the Preamble in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements, and shall take effect as between them as soon as all their several instruments of ratification shall have been deposited at Washington.

This Treaty shall, when it has come into effect as prescribed in the preceding paragraph, remain open as long as may be necessary for adherence by all the other Powers of the world. Every instrument evidencing the adherence of a Power shall be deposited at Washington and the Treaty shall immediately upon such deposit become effective as; between the Power thus adhering and the other Powers parties hereto.

It shall be the duty of the Government of the United States to furnish each Government named in the Preamble and every Government subsequently adhering to this Treaty with a certified copy of the Treaty and of every instrument of ratification or adherence. It shall also be the duty of the Government of the United States telegraphically to notify such Governments immediately upon the deposit with it of each instrument of ratification or adherence.

IN FAITH WHEREOF the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed this Treaty in the French and English languages both texts having equal force, and hereunto affix their seals.

DONE at Paris, the twenty seventh day of August in the year one thousand nine hundred and twenty-eight.
GUSTAV STRESEMANN
FRANK B KELLOGG
PAUL HYMANS
ARI BRIAND
CUSHENDUN
W. L. MACKENZIE KING
A J MCLACHLAN
C. J. PARR
J S. SMIT
LIAM T.MACCOSGAIR
CUSHENDUN
G. MANZONI
UCHIDA
AUGUST ZALESKI
DR EDWARD BENES

Certified to be a true copy of the signed original deposited with the Government of the United States of America.
FRANK B. KELLOGG
Secretary of State of the United States of America

AND WHEREAS it is stipulated in the said Treaty that it shall take effect as between the High Contracting Parties as soon as all the several instruments of ratification shall have been deposited at Washington;

AND WHEREAS the said Treaty has been duly ratified on the parts of all the High Contracting Parties and their several instruments of ratification have been deposited with the Government of the United States of America, the last on July 24, 1929;

NOW THEREFORE, be it known that I, Herbert Hoover, President of the United States of America, have caused the said Treaty to be made public, to the end that the same and every article and clause thereof may be observed and fulfilled with good faith by the United States and the citizens thereof.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

DONE at the city of Washington this twenty-fourth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and twenty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and fifty-fourth
HERBERT HOOVER
By the President:
HENRY L STIMSON
Secretary of State

NOTE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE

ADHERING COUNTRIES

When this Treaty became effective on Jury 24, 1929, the instruments of ratification of all of the signatory powers having been deposited at Washington, the following countries, having deposited instruments of definitive adherence, became parties to it:
Afghanistan
Finland
Peru
Albania
Guatemala
Portugal
Austria
Hungary
Rumania
Bulgaria
Iceland
Russia
China
Latvia
Kingdom of the Serbs
Cuba
Liberia
Croats and Slovenes
Denmark
Lithuania
Siam
Dominican Republic
Netherlands
Spain
Egypt
Nicaragua
Sweden
Estonia
Norway
Turkey
Ethiopia
Panama

Additional adhesions deposited subsequent to July 24, 1929. Persia, July 2, 1929; Greece, August 3, 1929; Honduras, August 6, 1929; Chile, August 12, 1929; Luxemburg August 14, 1929; Danzig, September 11, 1929; Costa Rica, October 1, 1929; Venezuela, October 24, 1929.


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