ward off invasion

ward off invasion
   to launch a pre-emptive strike
   The language of Nazism, and one of the excuses given for the German invasion of Poland in August 1939, and of Holland and Belgium in May 1940:
    Naturally a 'counter-attack' to 'ward off the hostile invasion'. (Klemperer, 1998, in translation — diary entry of 11 May 1940, noting the reason given for the attack on the Low Countries).

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

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