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War Built Economies

Updated: Jan 23

The industry of war builds economies, and until we address this reality, it will be difficult to construct a more peaceful world. A report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (, written by Dr. John Melvin, gives a country by country account of the foreign forces currently occupying the Horn of Africa.

While the economic impact these foreign forces are making to the region isn't addressed specifically, it’s not difficult to see the military/ industrial complex at work, building businesses and creating regional prosperity as a result of the occupation.

Piracy is most often stated as the reason for the presence of these foreign forces. And while there is no doubt that piracy certainly poses a threat to the global economy, it is the potential of the unearthed treasure in the region that is most at stake. Consequently, the prosperity gained through conflict gives little reason to actually solve the problem of piracy; not for the host nation who gains economically by the occupation or for those governments using the issue of piracy to gain power and influence in the region. In that view, the industry of war becomes self-sustaining, and the prospects of peace become contrary to the economic prosperity of the region.

The military/ industrial complex is real, and like anti-trust laws, we should not allow economies constructed in the creation/sustainment of conflict to form. They foster war, create wealth for only a select few, and cause many to suffer beyond measure and without reward.

I know I’ve over simplified the issue, but that doesn’t mean that detailed plans and practices should not be put in place that discourage governments from forming conflict trade economies as a pillar of their nation's prosperity. The situation in The Horn of Africa is just an example of conflict trade economics at work. There are many, so we must be watchful.

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