Ali held that in the matter of foreign policy, the state should take steps to insure peace without and peace within. War should be avoided as far as possible. The terms of all treaties should be faithfully observed. The government should, however, remain alert and be prepared to meet any emergency. If war is resorted to it should be only in the cause of God and for the vindication of the truth. Ali held that in the case of war, let the first shot be by the enemy. Bloodshed was to be avoided as far as possible. In the enemy land the fields were not to be harmed and the fruit trees were not to be cut. The aged and the women were not to be made the victims of vengeance.