Economic Targeting in Modern Warfare

by Benjamin S. Lambeth, Kevin N. Lewis

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Abstract

It is worth thinking about the problem of economic targeting for two reasons. First, we must understand the nature and purpose of such an attack. Second, and more important, we have to determine how attacks aimed against an enemy's economy relate to other possible applications of military force in the nuclear age. This paper reviews both questions from the perspective of American and Soviet strategy. It begins with a brief discussion of economic targeting prior to the nuclear age. Then it reviews post-war American and Soviet approaches to economic targeting. Finally, these approaches are contrasted and some implications for the nature of the long-term Soviet-American strategic competition are outlined.

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