The Peacemaking Paradox

by David Nutter, Esq.

One of the common misperceptions about peacemaking is that it is born out of weakness. Actually, for lasting and effective peacemaking, the opposite is true. Only from the solid ground of strength can we build a lasting structure of peace.

The history of nations provides many examples. President Theodore Roosevelt was viewed by his critics as a jingoistic war-monger. But a review of his actual record reveals that his tenure as President produced a period of great peace: the only real conflict being the one in the Philippines that he inherited from President McKinley. His presidency ended with The Great White Fleet of the U.S. Navy sailing completely around the world signaling security through strength.

Similarly, Winston Churchill was decried throughout the 1930’s as a warmonger as he repeatedly warned the British and French governments that they needed to deal with the growing Hitler menace from the ground of preparedness and strength. Indeed, Churchill believed to his dying day that WWII could have been averted if the United States had embraced its own international duties, along with the British and French, in the years following WWI.

The same seeming paradox applies in other peacemaking arenas including litigation. It is the one fully prepared to try their case who will obtain an effective peace. Lack of preparation and resolve results in capitulation, not peacemaking. Some battles will need to be fought, and some cases will need to be tried. Those known to be willing to fervently fight are the ones most likely to obtain an effective peace. To be sure, motives matter. If one is determined to always fight for fighting’s sake, and views every peace as a capitulation, there will never be peace. But if one is prepared to fight while preferring an honorable peace, more often than not a reasonable resolution will be at hand.


Team Leader David Nutter has successfully mediated and arbitrated over 1,500 cases since joining Miles. His team specializes in complex business disputes, employment, corporate and partnership litigation and dissolutions, and banking and finance. To schedule a mediation or arbitration with Mr. Nutter please call 678-320-9118 or visit his online calendar.