Therefore, those who desire peace should prepare for war.

—Vegetius. Epitome de re militari.

The best way to avoid war is to prepare for it. Aggressors are not guided by common decency—they appreciate only force. Being prepared to fight is no guarantee of peace. There is no guarantee of peace. There will be wars as long as there are countries that lack the institutions of freedom and the civilized cultures needed to make them work. Nevertheless, preparation for war will prevent most wars and ensure that the remainder can be won with a minimum of bloodshed and disruption.

This article is an extract from the book ‘Principles of Good Government’ by Matthew Bransgrove