The Economics of War
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The Economics of War

Profiteering, Militarism and Imperialism

Imad A. Moosa

Bad things occur and persist because of the presence of powerful beneficiaries. In this provocative and illuminating book, Imad Moosa illustrates the economic motivations behind the last 100 years of international conflict, citing the numerous powerful individual and corporate war profiteers that benefit from war.
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Chapter 7: A taxonomy of war profiteers

Imad A. Moosa

Abstract

War profiteers come in several shapes and forms and generate profit by various means. They can be classified into the providers of guns, the providers of butter, the providers of logistical support and mercenaries, the looters and politicians and government officials. General Smedley Butler identified war profiteers that supplied the United States military with civilian goods during World War I. The privatisation of war has created enormous profitable opportunities for private security firms, providing logistical support and mercenaries. The business has become so lucrative that many British, American and Australian special forces have quit to join them. These firms are granted lucrative contracts to perform tasks that at one time were entrusted to the military. Perhaps the biggest individual looter ever is King Leopold II of Belgium who in 1885 achieved international recognition for a personal colony, the Congo Free State.

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