As you read the selected passage, bear in mind this book was written roughly around 500 BC. Now fast-forward to 2012. Do you see any parallels?
Sun Tzu — The Art of War; Chapter Two: Doing Battle
A nation can be impoverished by the army when it has to supply the army at great distances.
When provisions are transported at great distances, the citizens will be impoverished.
Those in proximity to the army will sell goods at high prices.
When goods are expensive, the citizens’ wealth will be exhausted.
When their wealth is exhausted, the peasantry will be afflicted with increased taxes.
When all strength has been exhausted and resources depleted, all houses in the central plains utterly impoverished, seven-tenths of the citizens’ wealth dissipated,
the government’s expenses from damaged chariots, worn-out horses, armor, helmets, arrows and crossbows, halberds and shields, draft oxen, and heavy supply wagons,
will be six-tenths of its reserves.
Therefore, a wise general will strive to feed off the enemy.