ALL the nations now at war protest that they desire peace but all insist upon guarantees against a renewal of the struggle. Germany demands security against any recurrence of what she calls the unprovoked war against her; Great Britain, France and Russia demand like guarantees against Germany. Each group of belligerents wishes to bind over the other to keep the peace.
This demand for specific guarantees appears and reappears in all official utterances. In the German Peace Note of December 12, 1916, neutrals are assured that "the propositions" which the Central Powers will bring forward "have for their object a guarantee of the existence, of the honour and liberty of evolution for their nations." The Allies, insists Lord Curzon, are fighting for "security that those [German] crimes shall not be repeated, and that those sacrifices shall not have been made in vain." The peace must "give guarantees for the future." "The war would be vain if we had no guarantees and securities against a repetition of Germany's offence." "Restitution, reparation, guarantee against repetition" is the phrase accepted