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Just 20 years lapsed between the First and the Second World War but since 1945 we have had more than 70 years without any global conflagration. Which are the factors that help maintain peace and which lead to war? One simple and much cited answer is the Roman line: ‘If you want peace, prepare for war’ — ‘Si vis pacem, para bellum’. A better line, I submit, is ‘if you want peace, prepare for peace’ —‘si vis pacem, para pacem’.