Sam, dam, dand and bhed are legitimate tools of state policy according to our very own Chanakya. Sam and bhed are Words while dam and dand are Gold and Sword respectively. A state should utilize all or any of the above to protect itself against any real or perceived threat as well as to expand its power and territory according to him. It would be foolish for us to expect our enemies to not indulge in the same activities that we consider legitimate when used by us.
It is possible to bring about change with the help of the Word, the Sword and Gold as it has been amply demonstrated throughout history. The Cult of the Assassins, established in the 11th century by Hassan Al-Sabbah, used assassinations of political and religious leaders as a way of bringing about change. It depended more on the Sword than either the Word or Gold to attain its objectives. Most historians credit this cult with being the first to use assassinations as a tool of state policy to bring about social and political change. They grew in power in Persia till the arrival of the Mongols led by Halaku Khan, when they were defeated and their power base was destroyed.
This cult aimed to achieve the social and political supremacy of the Nizari sect of Shii'te Islam. As fate would have it, this sect today has no geographical location to call its own and is scattered around the world with the Aga Khan as their spiritual leader. Perhaps the lesson here is that what is gained by using the Sword alone is of temporal nature.