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A nation must think before it acts.
This paper brings together the key dimensions of financial warfare and places them in a larger policy framework. Its major conclusions are that financial warfare will be a much more important issue because of the astounding growth in international finance itself. In addition, financial warfare allows for more precise targeting than conventional economic warfare. Much like “precision strike” technology in arms, it gives more control over sanctions, but by no means perfect control. Finally, financial warfare’s larger policy framework should draw on escalation and de-escalation theory because it is likely to be most effective when combined with other forms of pressure. This article does not “advocate” financial warfare. But it does argue that, since this type of conflict is emerging as an increasingly likely possibility, it needs to be thought through carefully. The worst outcome is to use it, without thinking about it, which, the author argues is where we are today.