The Leavenworth Way of War

History Discussion at CGSC

H302: Its the Economy Stupid… Comrade!

Maoist revolutionalry war theory puts the priority of effort on the political line of operations. Our experience with our own domestic politics indicates that the key to successful politics is the economy. Therefore… maybe:

COIN = Politics

Politics = Economy

.’. COIN = Economy


Consider this:  Do populations whose economic aspirations are being met ever revolt?

March 9, 2016 - Posted by | COIN, H300, military history, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. While economy drives society and permeates politics, the assertion that meeting economic aspirations prevents political revolt is not entirely accurate. Political revolt is the byproduct of stimulus; while economics is a salient and effective stimulus for political revolt, there are additional stimuli available to promulgate a society toward revolution. The challenge is for leadership to capitalize upon an irritant, establish a guiding coalition to fortify the irritant into a stimulus for change, then to unite the revolution toward political regime change.

    In lieu of the assertion that economic satiation prevents revolution, a more prudent understanding is that economic satiation mitigates the likelihood of political revolt. This economic peace theory is the lynchpin of American foreign policy with a focus on utilizing the global marketplace to ensure world peace. Unfortunately, societies do change and small irritants become major distractions. The world stands on a precipice as the concept of democracy faces severe testing with political demagogues, an expansionist China seizing natural resources worldwide, and the phenomenon of ISIS gains traction in vulnerable nations.

    Political entities must carefully evolve institutions to reflect not only economic intentions but also societal requirements and changes in order to mitigate the threat of revolution. Meanwhile, nations must deal with extreme ideologies while utilizing political structures to prudentially integrate societal requirements.

    Comment by Maj Matt Wunderlich, SG 19A | March 9, 2016

  2. I feel when the government meets the needs of it’s people, then the people does not revolt. A nation with a great economy often see’s less problems than one without a great economy. Economy helps drive the society and subsequently affects politics. In nations where the people can not be prosperous, they face many issues.

    Comment by MAJ James Stall | March 11, 2016

  3. I think that it is not necessarily true that populations whose economic aspirations are met never revolt. Economic development is critical to improving the standard of living of the population. It satisfies the basic needs of the population within Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. However, having achieved a minimum standard of living, the population will then desire to move up the hierarchy to satisfy higher-level needs.

    In a COIN environment, economic development is certainly an immediate imperative to improve the living conditions of the people. However, the fundamental building blocks of good governance must also be laid at this point to ensure future success. This is because in the longer-term, the population does not just seek economic development, but also good governance as the standard of living improves.

    Comment by Luke Goh, SG 19B | March 14, 2016

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