Giuseppe GAGLIANO, PhD *
Abstract. The existence of economic warfare was perceived as early as in the 19th century by intellectuals of the caliber of Victor Hugo and academicians from diverse fields as the ineluctable evolution of the logic of conflict, which, from material war waged on battlegrounds by soldiers with arms, would be transformed into a ”softer” form of encounter between nations in the international marketplace, and subsequently into a free exchange of ideas among free spirits.
However, the international scenario in the last twenty years has certainly not offered less bitter conflicts than when bombs and ordinance exploded over Europe: harmony among nations has not even been reached in the West between the United States and the European Union. In fact, much less it has been reached in the rest of the world, where democracy remains a dream for billions despite the significant steps taken in this direction on all five continents. Above and beyond the widespread disappointment with the real extent of such progress whose ideal has distinctively defined our concept of modernity, the conviction persists that conventional war can break out naturally in the economy through ”economic warfare”, which was defined for the first time during the First World War as a component of the idea of total warfare dear to the German General Erich Ludendorff. It is a fact that, at this point, economy is not exclusively what is at stake in conventional warfare.
* Il Presidente CESTUDEC, Centro Studi Strategici