Economic warfare


Economic warfare

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Economic warfare is the term for economic policies followed as a part of military operations during wartime.

The purpose of economic warfare is to capture critical economic resources so that the military can operate at full efficiency and/or deprive the enemy forces of those resources so that they cannot fight the war properly.

The concept of economic warfare is most applicable to conflict between nation states, especially in times of total war - which involves not only the armed forces of a nation, but mobilization of the nation's entire economy towards the war effort. In such a situation, causing damage to the economy of the enemy directly damages the enemy's ability to fight the war.

Some of the types or policies followed in economic warfare include:

  1. Blockade
  2. Blacklisting
  3. Preclusive purchasing
  4. Rewards
  5. Capturing of enemy assets

Clear examples of economic warfare could be seen during World War II when the Allied powers followed these policies to deprive the Axis economies of critical resources. In turn, the Axis powers attempted to damage the Allied war effort via submarine warfare, and the sinking of supply ships carrying supplies, raw materials, and war related equipment.

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