Peace through strength
"Peace through strength" is an ancient phrase and concept implying that strength of arms is a necessary component of peace. The phrase is quite old; it has famously been used by many leaders from Roman Emperor Hadrian in the first century AD, to Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. The concept has long been associated with Realpolitik. In 2011, the American Security Council Foundation, a small non-profit conservative organization chaired by a dentist in Sebastian, Florida, claimed a trademark of the phrase.
The phrase and concept date to ancient times. Roman Emperor Hadrian (76-138 AD) said that he sought "peace through strength, or failing that peace through threat." Hadrian's Wall was a symbol of this policy.
"Peace Through Strength" is the title of a book about a defense plan by Bernard Baruch, a former World War II adviser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, published by Farrar, Straus and Young in 1952. During the 1964 American Presidential campaign, the Republican party spent about five million dollars on "peace through strength" TV spots. For supporters of the MX missile in the 1970s, the missile symbolized "peace through strength."
Ronald Reagan and Republican Party 
Ronald Reagan used the phrase in political campaigning during his election challenge against Jimmy Carter in 1980, accusing the incumbent of weak, vacillating leadership that invited enemies to attack the USA and its allies. Reagan later considered it one of the mainstays of his foreign policy as President of the United States. In 1983, he explained it thus:
- "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."
The approach was credited by many for forcing the Soviet Union to lose the arms race and end the Cold War. "Peace Through Strength" is the official motto of the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76).
For Andrew Bacevich, "belief in the efficacy of military power almost inevitably breeds the temptation to put that power to work. 'Peace through strength' easily enough becomes 'peace through war.'"
The mock inversion "strength through peace" has been used on occasion to draw criticism to the militaristic system of diplomacy advocated by "peace through strength". Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich adopted the slogan "Strength Through Peace" during his 2008 Presidential run, as part of his platform as a peace candidate in opposition to the Iraq War.
Trademark dispute 
During Reagan's presidency, the non-profit American Security Council Foundation (ASCF) and its for-profit direct-mail provider, Communications Corporation of America, sought to influence United States foreign policy by promoting the idea, but after the Soviet collapse of 1991 ASCF fell into obscurity while other organizations continued to promote the slogan. The Heritage Foundation and the Center for Security Policy (CSP) have also used the term in print. The ASCF registered a trademark for the phrase in April 2011. In September 2012, ASCF filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against CSP and Frank Gaffney, prompting the Washington City Paper to ridicule ASCF's Director of Operations, Gary James, who had apparently been editing the online encyclopedia Wikipedia article 'Peace through strength' so that it was "drenched in .. ASCF references."
See also 
- Demoralization (warfare)
- Reagan Doctrine
- Si vis pacem, para bellum
- Big Stick ideology
- Strength Through Peace, the opposing doctrine
- Bruce Russett (2009). World Politics: The Menu for Choice. Cengage Learning. p. 325.
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- Jeffrey Arthur Larsen (2005). "Peace through Strength". Historical Dictionary Of Arms Control And Disarmament. Scarecrow Press. p. 168.
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- Republican Platform. "We Believe in America". Republican National Committee. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
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- Eric Appleman, ed. (2008). The Race for the 2008 Democratic Nomination: A Book of Editorial Cartoons. Pelican Publishing. p. 29.
- "The American Security Council Mission Statement". Retrieved 9 August 2010.
- Kim R. Holmes (1995). "Geo-Conservatism; Why Conservatives Are Better Than Liberals at Foreign Policy". Policy Review (The Heritage Foundation) (71).
- "Peace Through Strength". United States Patent and Trademark Office. April 5, 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
- "American Security Council Foundation v. Center for Security Policy, Inc. et al". District of Columbia District Court. Justia. September 7, 2012.