America and the World War

By Theodore Roosevelt | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X
PREPAREDNESS AGAINST WAR

MILITARY preparedness meets two needs. In the first place, it is a partial insurance against war. In the next place, it is a partial guarantee that if war comes the country will certainly escape dishonor and will probably escape material loss.

The question of preparedness cannot be considered at all until we get certain things clearly in our minds. Right thinking, wholesome thinking, is essential as a preliminary to sound national action. Until our people understand the folly of certain of the arguments advanced against the action this nation needs, it is, of course, impossible to expect them to take such action.

The first thing to understand is the fact that preparedness for war does not always insure peace but that it very greatly increases the chances of securing peace. Foolish people point out nations which, in spite of preparedness for war, have seen war come upon them, and then exclaim that preparedness against war is of no use. Such an argument is precisely like saying that the ex-

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