walk softly and carry a big stick

walk softly and carry a big stick

Attempt peaceful negotiations while also being prepared for confrontation by displaying one's power, especially elements of force. The phrase is a variation on "speak softly and carry a big stick," a phrase popularized by US President Theodore Roosevelt in a 1903 speech. Because that group is violent and unpredictable, I think you need to walk softly and carry a big stick when you deal with them.
See also: and, big, carry, softly, stick, walk