I suspect that it's along the lines of "The best defense is a good offense."
sic pacem, para bellum (I think that's latin for "for peace, prepare for war"..
I'm currently reading The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
-- specifically, in the chapter leading up to the Anschluss. In the author's analysis, German industrialists and military had eagerly gone along with Hitler's plans for expanding the military -- quite happily so, as it feathered their own nests -- and then were appalled when, in November 1937, he declared his intentions to actually use the military capability that they had built for him. Perhaps it's just the influence of this reading that makes me view "sic pacem, para bellum" as simplistic in the extreme, if not simply flat-out wrong.