The stupidity of Britain in pathetically weakening their defenses after WW1 and right up through the late thirties was responsible for not being able to stomp Hitler when the necessity arose and the opportunity to do so was golden. "Peace in our time" was effectively the mantra right from 1919 until 1 September 1939. The US suffered from the same moronic weakness. Germany was not a very strong power in 1939; they were furiously racing to rearm while Britain slept, and they were more than a match for Poland when the time came and Britain and France were too cowed to lift a finger to help Poland.
It would have been royally appropriate if Germany had walked over Britain like they did France. They came within an inch of doing it, but in the event the tiny RAF fighter force ended up showing that Germany's luftwaffe was terribly deficient. Also, the British and US navies hadn't been gutted as badly as the land and air forces, and Hitler didn't even try for a surface fleet. Luckily, Germany, Italy and Japan could not coordinate their forces enough to fight their way out of a paper bag.
Then after WW2, exactly the same thing, as the west couldn't fall over themselves fast enough to disarm, until Korea woke them up.
The cold war was the exception. And after 1992, the same broken record with getting suckered by twits nattering about the "peace dividend" lie. Even now Britain and the US are weak as kittens, and you got the absurdity of trying to fight Iraq and Afghanistan in laborious slow motion on the cheap in terms of manpower and equipment. Not cheap in terms of back-breaking expense though.