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Peace through strength


"Peace through strength" is a phrase which suggests that military power can help preserve peace. It is quite old and has famously been used by many leaders from Roman Emperor Hadrian in the first century AD to former U.S. President Ronald Reagan in the 1980's and current U.S. President Donald Trump. The concept has long been associated with realpolitik. The idea has critics: "'Peace through strength' easily enough becomes 'peace through war'" according to Andrew Bacevich.

The phrase and concept date to ancient times. Roman Emperor Hadrian (AD 76–138) is said to have sought "peace through strength or, failing that, peace through threat".Hadrian's Wall was a symbol of this policy.

Peace Through Strength (1952) is the title of a book about a defense plan by Bernard Baruch, a World War II adviser to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, published by Farrar, Straus and Young. During the 1964 American Presidential campaign, the Republican party spent about $5 million on "Peace through Strength" TV spots. For supporters of the MX missile in the 1970s, the missile symbolized "peace through strength".



"We know that peace is the condition under which mankind was meant to flourish. Yet peace does not exist of its own will. It depends on us, on our courage to build it and guard it and pass it on to future generations. George Washington's words may seem hard and cold today, but history has proven him right again and again. "To be prepared for war," he said, "is one of the most effective means of preserving peace." Well, to those who think strength provokes conflict, Will Rogers had his own answer. He said of the world heavyweight champion of his day: "I've never seen anyone insult Jack Dempsey."
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