“Jaw Jaw is better than War War” — a saying of Winston Churchill that’s often repeated. But Jaw Jaw, or discussion, or even negotiation, is not the complete antidote to war. In 1939 Prime minister Chamberlain had two lengthy agreements with Hitler during personal meetings but the latter still declared war soon afterwards.
The more effective counterpoint to War War is trade. When businesses on both sides of an international argument are exchanging significant volumes of assets between them, then heads of state think more clearly of what their countries might lose in the case of war rather than what they might gain by way of conquest.