Those who can win a war well can rarely make a good peace and those who could make a good peace would never have won the war.

What's the meaning of this quote?

Quote Meaning: This quote highlights the complex dynamics between achieving military victory and negotiating a successful and lasting peace. It suggests that the skills, mindset, and strategies required to win a war are often different from those necessary for crafting a favorable and sustainable peace settlement.

The first part of the quote acknowledges that winning a war effectively involves employing tactics, strategies, and a mindset focused on defeating the enemy and achieving military objectives. This often requires strength, determination, and the ability to overcome challenges through force or coercion. However, these qualities and approaches may not necessarily translate into creating the conditions necessary for a peaceful and harmonious resolution of conflicts.

Free Resource: A step-by-step blueprint to realize your dreams

The second part of the quote implies that those who possess the qualities and abilities to negotiate and achieve a good peace settlement would have approached the conflict differently from the outset. They may have prioritized diplomacy, mediation, and compromise, seeking alternatives to armed conflict. As a result, they might not have needed to engage in war to secure their objectives.

This quote recognizes the fundamental differences between the strategies and objectives of war and peace. While war may be necessary to address immediate threats or protect vital interests, achieving sustainable peace requires addressing underlying causes, promoting reconciliation, and fostering cooperation among former adversaries.

It also suggests that those skilled in the art of war may find it challenging to transition to a mindset of peacebuilding. The qualities and tactics that contribute to military success, such as aggression, dominance, and decisive action, may hinder the establishment of trust, reconciliation, and compromise necessary for a lasting peace.

In essence, this quote serves as a reminder of the complexities involved in transitioning from war to peace. It highlights the need for different skills, approaches, and mindsets in achieving victory versus constructing a peaceful and stable post-conflict society. It underscores the importance of recognizing the limitations and challenges associated with these distinct phases and the need for dedicated efforts to ensure successful transitions and sustainable peace.

Who said the quote?

The quote "Those who can win a war well can rarely make a good peace and those who could make a good peace would never have won the war." was said by Winston Churchill (Bio / Quotes). Winston Churchill was a British politician, statesman, and writer who is widely regarded as one of the greatest leaders in modern history.

Applying the quote to your life

Unlock Churchill's wisdom and apply it to your life by getting the in-depth Winston Churchill Workbook & Study Guide, complete with top quotes, insightful commentary, reflective questions, and practical uses for everyday life.

To apply more wisdom, get the All-Access Pass, which includes hundreds of study guides from the world's top minds. These include deep insights from individuals such as Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs, and Albert Einstein, as well as some of the top authors and personal development books.

Reading is Smart. Applying is Smarter:  Apply

Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

Actualize Your Potential
Get my simplified process for realizing dreams (The exact process that enabled me to achieve 100 life goals in 10 years)
Access my Start With WHY workbook for free, designed to guide you toward your purpose and the person you are meant to become
Align With Your Why
Elevate In Your Inbox
Get actionable insights, best practices, and wisdom you can apply — No hype, No fluff. Just practical ideas that might change your life.

Read The Art of Fully Living

There's no going back-once you embark on the journey you're meant to live, it's impossible to settle for anything less than your dreams.

Click here to learn more

Set Better Goals

Learn a better and smarter approach to setting and achieving goals. It's not just about what you want to achieve, but who you must become in the process.

Click here to learn more
Take The Free Test
Discover your areas for growth in just 5 minutes. Take the FREE self-evaluation test and pinpoint where to focus your efforts

Uplevel Your Game

Explore The Roadmaps

Access a self-paced online roadmap that turns big goals into realities, complete with daily study guides, actionable steps, and proven practices from the world's best minds
Reclaim your freedom, escape 9-5, and live the life you were meant to live — A self-paced roadmap with daily study guides, actionable steps, and proven practices
Join The Accelerator
Join a 10-week, personalized immersion that will accelerate your goal-attainment, elevate you to your next level, and turn your big dreams into reality.
Learn More
Thanks for reading. It makes a difference. A portion of all proceeds from our endeavors supports entrepreneurs in the developing world. View Impact...