Way back in 1747, Benjamin Franklin vividly comprehended the task ahead when he said:
“Were this union armed and disciplined, were everything in our power done for our security, as far as human means and foresight could provide, we might then, with more propriety, humbly ask the assistance of heaven and a blessing on our lawful endeavors.”
Peace was the goal, but strength was the means. Franklin envisioned the day when a prudent policy of national defense would provide the American people with the protection which their rise to greatness would require. He also wrote: “The very fame of our strength and readiness would be a means of discouraging our enemies; for it’s a wise and true saying that one sword often keeps another in the scabbard.”
The way to secure peace is to be prepared for war. They that are on their guard, and appear ready to receive their adversaries are in much less danger of being attacked than the careless, secure and negligent.
Franklin further saw that those in authority have the inherent responsibility to initiate the means by which adequate defenses can be provided. He declared: Protection is as truly due from the government to the people, as obedience from the people is due to the government.
In later life, he held to the same solid philosophy of peace through strength as an assurance of survival in the future. If you don’t have security, what difference does it make as to how much money or possessions we have?