´´The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. “That’s not the way the world really works anymore.” He continued “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
Suskind, Ron (2004-10-17). Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush. The New York Times Magazine.
Following a quick survey of macro-economic indicators which are readily available on the web, from such public sites as the CIA, WTO, and so on, one can readily posit a clear and predictive model of war. (All numbers in this article are expressed in trillions of US dollars, such as 1.0T for one trillion US dollars, as an amount, or as a rate per year, as per the context.)
On observing the planet from space (using a macro-economic telescope), the first and most glaring observation arises from a look at net exports, which clearly show a single and dominant global empire, the USA. It has, for many decades, had a negative annual net export, of -0.63T, or so — far greater than that of its closest “rival”, and former dominant empire, the UK, with -0.14T. 
This means that US military projection (over 1000 military bases world wide) and power is such that the US can maintain steady and long-term extraction of wealth from the rest of the world towards itself, no questions asked. 
Only a country which is a participating satellite of the empire can share in the spoils of the global extortion project and consistently report a large negative rate of net exports. Notably, the UK (-0.14T), and France (-0.07T). (In this regard, it is no accident that the governments of the UK and France are the most willing partners in the US’s present call to destroy Syria; more on this below.)
There are also momentary localized cases of large negative rates of net exports in post-war financial invasions, otherwise known as re-constructions financed by the empire (in the broad sense, including the financiers). But that is part of the accompanying phenomenon of how the empire profits from war itself.