Thus spake the incomparable Scarlett O'Hara, played by the truly beautiful Vivien Leigh, as her very first words in the film of Gone With the Wind. Well, today the talk is also of "War, war, war". Mostly, of course, it is concerned with the current kerfuffles in the Middle East but I was intrigued by what I will call the 'non-war' (so far!) over the Ukraine.
I just wondered - and this is a theoretical rambling not a certitude - whether the new 'weapon of choice' for major powers engaged in a dispute is economics? After all, atomic weaponry is simply not practical if it results in your own total destruction. So-called 'limited' military action between the great powers carries the risks of ultimate escalation and suddenly it's - 'Wham Bam, thanks, Ma'am'!
But economic warfare is, by comparison, infinitely more gradual and certainly far removed from loony generals pressing buttons. However, the end results can be catastrophic. One of the unsung contributions to victory in 1918 was the British naval blockade which exerted a strangulating pressure on the German economy forcing them into unrestricted submarine warfare whose only result was to bring into the front line a million or so fresh-faced, well-fed Americans to face a German army on quarter rations!
The result of the recent bout of tit-for-tat economic sanctions between Russia and the West is worth watching carefully. Like all warfare, the cost/benefit analysis is a fine one and in fact only experience will confirm who is better placed to survive through an economic war although my money is on capitalist countries with relatively free markets. We can diversify - can Russia?
For a more expert opinion particularly in regard to Sino-American realations, try this: