War and the Economy
The following was written by Prof. Joshua S. Goldstein - Professor Emeritus of International Relations, American University - and Research Scholar, Dept. of Political Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst - 16 Poets Corner Road, Amherst, MA 01002-1760
Positive Economic Effects
War is not without economic benefits, however. These are not limited to having misfortune strike trade rivals. At certain historical times and places, war can stimulate a national economy in the short term. During slack economic times, such as the Great Depression of the 1930s, military spending and war mobilization can increase capacity utilization, reduce unemployment (through conscription), and generally induce patriotic citizens to work harder for less compensation.
War also sometimes clears away outdated infrastructure and allows economy-wide, generating long-term benefits (albeit at short-term costs). For example, after being set back by the two World Wars, French production grew faster after 1950 than before 1914.
Technological development often follows military necessity in wartime. Governments can coordinate research and development to produce technologies for war that also sometimes find civilian uses (such as radar in World War II). The layout of European railroad networks were strongly influenced by strategic military considerations, especially after Germany used railroads effectively to overwhelm French forces in 1870-71. In the 1990s, the GPS navigation system, created for U.S. military use, found wide commercial use. Although these war-related innovations had positive economic effects, it is unclear whether the same money spent in civilian sectors might have produced even greater innovation.
World War 2 and 9/11
US News and World Report stats, in https://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2011/11/29/declassified-memo-hinted-of-1941-hawaii-attack-/: Three days before the Dec. 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt was warned in a memo from naval intelligence that Tokyo's military and spy network was focused on Hawaii, a new and eerie reminder of FDR's failure to act on a basket load of tips that war was near.
In the newly revealed 20-page memo from FDR's declassified FBI file, the Office of Naval Intelligence on December 4 warned, "In anticipation of open conflict with this country, Japan is vigorously utilizing every available agency to secure military, naval and commercial information, paying particular attention to the West Coast, the Panama Canal and the Territory of Hawaii."
The memo, published in the new book December 1941: 31 Days that Changed America and Saved the World went on to say that the Japanese were collecting "detailed technical information" that would be specifically used by its navy. To collect and analyze information, they were building a network of spies through their U.S. embassies and consulates.
REGARDING CLINTON AND BUSH 43 In fact, he compares the missed signals leading up to Japan's attack to 9/11, which government investigations also show that the Clinton and Bush administrations missed clear signals that an attack was coming.
"So many mistakes through so many levels of Washington," said Craig Shirley, Author of the book December 1941. "Some things never change."