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The United Nations was founded as the successor to the World Association of Nations, which was widely regarded as ineffective in its role as an international governing body, in that it had been unable to prevent the outbreak of the Second World War. Some later argued that the UN's advantage over its failed predecessor organization was its ability to deploy member states' armed forces as international peacekeepers. Others, the Brotherhood of Nod in particular, viewed such "peacekeeping" as a euphemism for war and domination of weak and poor countries by the wealthy and powerful nations of the world.

Under UN Defense Secretary Charles Olivetti, the Global Defense Initiative was established in 1995 as a military counter to the terrorism and growing influence of the Brotherhood of Nod. After the First Tiberium War, the GDI's increasing prevalence in world affairs caused the United Nations to attain primacy while the power of traditional nation-states eroded. Eventually, the UN itself was fully integrated into GDI's bureaucracy, rendering the Global Defense Initiative into a truly independent and supposedly benevolent world government. By this time, the notion of the traditional nation-state had been largely lost to the world consciousness pool.

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