If you read the book, Confessions of an Economic Hitman, by John Perkins, where he describes the tactics used by the intelligence community to
overthrow foreign governments.
The first level is as you are describing, subversive activity.
Leading up to political assassinations performed by the "Jackals" and
then Political Coups...and inevitably to actual full scale military force.
Once the govt has been replaced , then enter the economic hitmen who sell huge infrastructure contracts backed by American Construction Corporations
to the new government heads requiring lots of financing.
When the foreign governments can no longer pay. They are then coerced into payment using their natural resources....
Remember Enron and their massive profits ? That's what was going on there, Saddam was selling crude for pennies on the dollars to Enron enabling them
to resell it on the open crude oil market for massive profits.
It's a great book. Really describes how the money is really made via the industrial miltary complex, and the World Bank.