[I]f you yield to a threat, you do so in order to avoid war, and more often than not, you do not avoid war. For those before whom you have thus openly demeaned yourself by yielding, will not stop there, but will seek to extort further concessions, and the less they esteem you the more incensed will they become against you. On the other hand, you will find your supporters growing cooler towards you, since they will look upon you as weak or pusillanimous. But if, as soon as you become aware of your adversary’s intentions, you prepare to use force, even though your forces be inferior to his, he will begin to respect you, and, since those with which you were allied will now esteem you, they will be ready to help when you begin to arm, which they would never have done had you given up.
–Niccolo Machiavelli, Discourses Book II, Chapter 14.
Not bad for a book written in 1517.