Toolkit Essential: Economic Defense

It was Canadian businessman Kevin O’Leary who said that “Business is War.” He speaks not only from his own conception of business, but from a socio-cultural context. As information becomes more readily available we begin to see more readily how ideological difference based on culture affects how nations, groups and countries do business. What we once thought of as hard fast scientific or logic based facts and ideas are now being revealed for cultural ideologies promulgated by those from within that framework. Whether you come from a culture renowned for war and hostile takeovers, or whether from one of diplomatic skill and economic sage, there are certain things every nation needs in its toolkit as it moves forward on the international front.

Business is war. I go out there, I want to kill the competitors. I want to make their lives miserable. I want to steal their market share. I want them to fear me and I want everyone on my team thinking we’re going to win.–Kevin O’Leary

Defense or Military, while ugly, is necessary. Particularly when you have a world where some groups believe business is war and will do anything to “win” or as O’Leary put it, ” . . . kill the competitor [and]. . . make their lives miserable.”  While we’d all like the ideal, the actual is what we truly get–and that includes a world in which some actors believe that your success means their demise. In such zero-sum game theory, nations that do not prepare a palpable military to defend their massive natural or man-made resources will be at a disadvantage to those who see your success as theirs to claim. And some will quite frankly be at the mercy of predatory nations/regimes that believe in bullying their way to power and taking wealth by any means necessary.

In 1968, the NPT or Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was signed and further ratified in 1970. The purported goal of the Treaty was to stop the spread of Nuclear weapons throughout the world. It was ratified by the former Soviet Union and the UK among 41 other nations and in total 190 were party to the treaty. While war and nuclear weapons are always regrettable recourse, the treaty set the stage for the Iraq War and many sanction-related abuses that devastated cold-war era nations. Simply put, Nations with bigger guns and the control of central banks had the muscle to bully less militarily equipped nations into submission. That submission, sadly was often tied to a self-interested financial agenda from militarily competent nations whose policies often devastated developing economies.

That submission, sadly was often tied to a self-interested financial agenda from militarily competent nations whose policies often devastated developing economies.

Today, the goal post has not moved far. Many nation’s that would have been able to create more stable economies and infrastructure for their people have been hamstrung by fledgling militaries, inept intelligence agencies and poorly funded police forces that leave their populace open to attack and external influence. In fact, many of their leadership is left without strategic think-tanks, strategists and competent subject matter experts that can readily give them the direction they need when making large international moves. It is key for nations today to understand, that intelligence IS defense. Your ability to be able to understand the nations and cultures that have traditionally ran the international community will determine if you will command or be commanded in the New World Order.

Developing economies will need to invest in more than agriculture to remain competitive in the economy of the future. They will need more than technology to be able to navigate the complex landscape of the developing new World Order. In a world where Western states have given themselves the authority to preemptively attack sovereign nations and provoke disorder in other nations, it will be necessary for nations who wish to thrive to fight fire with fire to maintain their gains and protect their people. Economics is then dependent on much more than GDP and Foreign reserves. Rather the ability to defend one’s economy and define it will take precedence. In a world where the winner takes all, many nations have not hedged their bets well–opting to forgo military might for internal development only. Often such nations fail to realize, a rich man on a dark road is robbed often.

Military competence is necessary to secure national gains. Currently the China has the largest standing military, with U.S. coming in second place. Military muscle often serves as a deterrent to war, because it becomes clear to a would-be aggressor nation, that their target can match them fire for fire. It is then those that neglect their military that are often at the beck and call of those have fortified both their military and their economy. The time for naiveté in the are of defense must end for developing economies. Savvy nations must understand that aggressor nations are not diplomatic or fair, they often want; and will stop at nothing unless you stop them. Particularly if they possess a zero-sum (win/lose ideology) culture.

Savvy nations must understand that aggressor nations are not diplomatic or fair, they often want; and will stop at nothing unless you stop them. Particularly if they possess a zero-sum (win/lose ideology) culture.

The New World economic toolkit, therefore, needs military might, intelligence competent and a will to act to secure the nation’s economy or at the very least possess the capability to work with tangential neighboring nations for a common good in the region. Often to secure against outside forces seeking to wrest financial or economic viability from them either through outright aggression, covert insurgency or diplomatic sanctions. Nations of the future, must be prepared to take their place on the national stage and refuse to be relegated to taking orders from more militarily and economically matured states and entities with prolonged histories of leaving nations and economies gutted, floundering for survival. The new world order requires competence and defense to secure potent financial blessings for the future.

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