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Gold, Blood and Power:
Finance and War Through the Ages

James Lacey

US Army War College

Money, in whatever form you care to imagine it— silver, gold, paper, or Bitcoin—remains as it always has been, the basic underpinning of national power, as well as the crucial determinant of military success. Throughout history, power has not so much flowed out of the barrel of a gun as derived from a nation’s ability to amass sufficient funds to prosecute a conflict.

This study commissioned by the US Army Strategic Studies Institute analyzes the economic and fiscal aspects of warfare ranging from ancient Greece and Persia up to World War II.