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Use of economic measures by governments engaged in international conflict. These may include export and import controls, shipping controls, trade agreements with neutral nations, and so on. Economic warfare among belligerents began with the blockade and interception of contraband. In World War II it was broadened to include economic pressure applied to neutral countries from which the enemy obtained its supplies. In the Cold War it often involved using measures such as an embargo to deny potential enemies goods that might contribute to their war-making ability.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on economic warfare, visit Britannica.com.
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