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Paper beats rock: GCC geo-economics

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Geo-economics can be understood as the intersection of economic tools and interests with political and security considerations and how countries utilise the former to achieve the latter or vice-versa. Distinguishing a primacy between politics and economics in statecraft can be tricky as the sequencing of war, diplomacy and business is not always linear. Few international actors blur the lines between politics and business to the point of making them indistinguishable as some Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states do.

Individuals there can simultaneously be state leaders, heads of the armed forces, hedge fund managers, as well as private investors who dispense unconditional aid while being cherished clients of defence contractors. This combination of roles (a result of their distinct political and economic models) allows them to deploy economic levers in support of their geopolitical aims in unparalleled ways.