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This was an exam question conducted in Feb 2019:

write an Essay on "New war fronts lie in economic zones."

Since the question seemed to be open ended, to me at least, I would like to know what should be the outline of the essay?

I am confused since "economic zones" has multiple meanings (special economic zones, exclusive economic zones or more general meaning new wars will be based on economic progress).

I took a more generic approach in this essay that modern war will be fought based on economic might strength (citing examples of sanctions, NAFTA trade deal, China and US Trade war [Tarrifs and Intellectual Property Rights], South China Sea Conflict, CAATSA Act, Sanctions on Korea and Iran, Stronger economies means advance weaponry). I did highlight Pakistan Indian CPEC and Chabahar Port and Economic Conflict since the exam paper was for Pakistan. In the end I mentioned position of Pakistan in this new war front of economic zone, citing Pakistan Twin Deficit issue etc.

So my question is what does this topic actually mean?

Note: I have been asked by Stack Exchange Writing to direct this question to economics or politics forum. I have asked this question on economics stack exchange but have not got any response yet.

  • I don't think we can answer a question about what you should have written about in your essay; the only one who can really answer that is your teacher or whoever is grading that essay. Could you modify the question to be more about the political question, rather than the essay? – divibisan Apr 12 at 3:48
  • Thanks Divibisan for the reply. Actually I want to know what this topic actually mean't? What do you think, does it mean new war fronts are exclusive economic zones or does it have more general meaning that new wars will be fought over economic progress? Will appreciate your views on this. – 767869879 Apr 12 at 3:59
  • Then focus on that. Are you asking the political concept of an "Economic Zone" is? That would be a more on topic question. I would try to narrow down the question the the specific political question you want an answer to, and just mention that without all the backstory – divibisan Apr 12 at 4:01
  • Thanks for the advise divibisan. Yes i want to ask about the economic zones but in context of the essay question. I have narrowed down the question though. – 767869879 Apr 12 at 4:08
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In the past there was less trade between countries and wars were often fought between groups of countries that had few economic links. A prime example would be the cold war between NATO and USSR. You could almost view these wars as a conflict between two separate economies.

Now the world is far more interconnected and is much closer to being a single global economy. This means that wars are now fought between countries that are part of the same economy.

This has many implications on how wars are started, what tactics are used and how they can end.

  • You might find the essays here informative: ecfr.eu/europeanpower/geoeconomics – andrew.punnett Apr 12 at 5:48
  • Thank you Andrew highly appreciate. Even I had taken a more general view of the topic. – 767869879 Apr 12 at 17:49
  • No worries. What I've written is obviously a gross simplification, but I believe that it is the idea that the question wants you to explore. – andrew.punnett Apr 14 at 22:35
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Disputes related to exclusive economic zones aren't uncommon. Wikipedia even has a page on it. In terms of area, a lot of sea is part of some EEZ, consider this image from Wikipedia: enter image description here

Basically, any coastal related conflict plays out in such an EEZ. As you can see from the dispute list on Wikipedia, quite often between two nations claiming the same area.

A recent example is the dispute between Russia and Ukraine regarding the Azov sea. The voelkerrechtsblog has a nice illustration on what implications that has for the EEZ in the Black sea: enter image description here

(Valentin J. Schatz and Dmytro Koval, “Ukraine v. Russia: Passage through Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov (Part I)”, Völkerrechtsblog, 10 January 2018, doi: 10.17176/20180110-131019)

In particular, it means that Ukranian ships can't go through the Kerch Strait without going through the EEZ now claimed by Russia.

So, in conclusion, you could read economic zones as EEZs and write a nice essay about that. Similar topics could be the South China Sea dispute or the EEZ around Antartica.

  • Thank you JJJ for the reply. Well I took a more generic approach that modern war will be fought based on economic strength (citing examples of sanctions, NAFTA trade deal, China and US Trade war [Tarrifs and Intellectual Property Rights], South China Sea Conflict, CAATSA Act, Sanctions on Korea and Iran, Stronger economies means advance weaponry). I did highlight Pakistan Indian CPEC and Chabahar Port and Economic Conflict since the exam paper was for Pakistan. In the end I mentioned position of Pakistan in this new war front of economic zone, citing Pakistan Twin Deficit issue etc. – 767869879 Apr 13 at 0:46
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After a while of trying the analyse this question... (who the hell would like to wage a war in some special economic zone? ;))

Right now we live in the most peaceful era in mankind history (may link some prof. Pinker research if that's controversial). Conventional war of conquest is no longer something that can be officially pursued as state policy, moreover when main powers offer each other MAD (mutually assured destruction), so starting a total war is suicidal. On the other hand there is still serious rivalry. Economies become much more interdependent, so it become possible to harm rival without firing single shot.

Which weapons? USA can solve plenty of issues through sanctions. Russians can express their displeasure through cutting off gas supplies. Chinese can buy influence using infrastructure everyone around One Belt, One Road initiative. EU can use mixture of soft power and subsidies to discipline nearby country to stay democratic.

  • Thank you Shadow1024. I completely agree even I took the approach economic wars rather than special or exclusive economic war zones but some of my friends disagreed and said that essay should only be about conflict on exclusive economic zones. Your comment really made content with my essay and my understanding of the topic. – 767869879 Apr 12 at 21:54
  • I think that they (or also other people who answered here) missed one key info. Other questions were really damn general and metaphoric. Did for question "Let there be more light in corridors of worship places" they write about architecture, electrical wiring and LEDs? – Shadow1024 Apr 13 at 6:01

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