A better translation (subjectivly better, it sounds better and is more accurate word for word) is:

"If you wish for peace, prepare for war".

It more or less implies that war is the natural state of humanity and peace can only be imposed by force. A neat metaphor for modern american foreign policy.

Another tidbit: If you have ever heard of pistol ammunition called 9mm parabellum, it means just that: 9mm prepare for war.

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