I'm looking for the title and author of a short story where the central plot goes like this. An alien comes to earth and uses his very advanced technology to try to stop war.

First, he disables nuclear weapons. This starts a war with conventional weapons as every superpower is worried about retaining its military supremacy. Then the alien progressively disables more and more primitive weapons, but this only serves to provoke conflicts with even more primitive weapons (guns don't fire, so people use clubs and knives). The alien thus fails, and if I remember correctly he eventually leaves in disgust.

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    I'm aware this is very likely not the answer you're looking for, but the initial setup in your story made me think of Asimov's "The Pause" ( asimovreviews.net/Stories/Story205.html )... But maybe the two of them ended up together in some "collection of short stories" and if that is the case it'd be easier to find?
    – C.B.
    Nov 6 '13 at 22:21
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    It isn't the answer, but this reminded me of "The day the earth stood still". May 1 '15 at 19:20
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    My first thought was the Organians from Star Trek.
    – user1197
    Aug 16 '15 at 2:57
  • I recall reading once an alien that used something similar to defend their planet... and at the time I sat there and thought about swords. Then crossbows and blowguns, then poisons, and after about a half a dozen loopholes, thought about the alien that so loudly bragged and welcomed anyone because they were sure - and laughed. This, this is... probably perfectly accurate.
    – Megha
    Dec 24 '15 at 0:11
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    Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja has the same basic premise: a superhuman disables all nuclear weapons which results in a global conventional (and eventually biological) war. It doesn't involve an alien, nor are conventional weapons disabled. The title and GI Joe-style artwork are misleading, it has a complex story. It's worth a look if you're into that sort of story.
    – Schwern
    Jul 10 '16 at 6:09

I'm not sure about a short story, but this was the very resolution to the Star Trek episode "Errand of Mercy" where the Federation and the Klingons were fighting over Organia. The Organians, who seemed to not want to be involved in the conflict at all, did absolutely nothing. However, after it seemed to become inevitable that both the Klingon Empire and the Federation would go to a bloody conflict over Organia, they acted after revealing their own god-like power. In their first act, they disabled every single weapon on both sides. Within the original series of Star Trek, this was the birth of the Organian Peace Treaty.

  • Can you provide a link to the episode possibly? Or an official blurb?
    – Edlothiad
    May 4 '17 at 16:54
  • From your description, it sounds like a success, while the question mentioned a complete failure to resolve a conflict. So I presume it is not what the question author was looking for. Nevertheless, a similar storyline worth mentioning.
    – TimSparrow
    May 4 '17 at 17:40

E.E."Doc" Smith's Galaxy Primes has a scenario similar to the above description as one of the planets they visit while lost in space.

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    Your answer might benefit from elaboration. Can you provide relevant quotes, more specific description, etc?
    – Politank-Z
    Mar 11 '16 at 21:47

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