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Posted by Lewis on June 04, 2004

In Reply to: Origin of these proverbs posted by frenchie on June 04, 2004

: Could anyone tell me about their origin in a few words

: Great minds think alike
: If you want peace, prepare for war
: If you cant beat them , join them

"If you desire peace then prepare for war" is the distillation of much of Sun Tzu's "Art of War" - another of the great sayings is that 'the greatest general never fights'. Both are paradoxes, but have an essential truth - that weak nations rarely attack strong nations and that a great military strategist can defeat an enemy by arraying his forces is such a fashion that the enemy dare not attack, so that eventually the enemy runs out of supplies and is forced to retreat.
Some great generals do not have that opportunity, so being skilled at the art of battle itself is another, but lesser way of showing 'greatness'.

There is much literature about manoevering an enemy so that they cannot make war against you. "The Prince" by Niccolo Macchiavelli is another classic of strategy.

The idea of Detente is not new.