Towards the end of his farewell address to Congress, delivered on 19 April 1951, General Douglas MacArthur makes the point that the object of war is victory, "not prolonged indecision." He goes on:
There are some who for varying reasons would appease Red China. They are blind to history’s clear lesson, for history teaches with unmistakable emphasis that appeasement but begets new and bloodier wars. It points to no single instance where this end has justified that means, where appeasement has led to more than a sham peace. Like blackmail, it lays the basis for new and successively greater demands until, as in blackmail, violence becomes the only other alternative.
Throughout the address, MacArthur emphasizes that he is a soldier whose view of war is different from that of a politician. MacArthur and his President Harry S. Truman frequently disagreed with each other. In this passage, he makes his case clearly and forcefully. Victory ends wars. Appeasement merely postpones them, and the enemy grows stronger in the meantime.
The analogy with blackmail underlines the point. When you pay a blackmailer, you do not remove the threat of further blackmail. If anything, you increase the threat, since the blackmailer takes note of your weakness and becomes bolder. Eventually, you will have to resort to violence. The best option is to strike quickly and forcefully as soon as you can.
MacArthur's view of appeasement was well-subscribed among both politicians and soldiers who watched the Second World War unfold. MacArthur may well have been thinking of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler when he considered Truman's policy towards China. Both Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt made similar comments about the dangers of appeasement in that context.