Smuggling economies make for ideal sources of revenue for rebel movements. Their clandestine and peripatetic nature and borderland geographies are often compatible with the requirements of guerrilla war. To weaken armed resistance and pacify conflict, state actors seek to undercut lucrative smuggling operations by restricting illicit trade flows, or reduce their profit margins by liberalising trade regimes. This chapter explores both such strategies through the lens of two empirical cases: US sanctions on so-called ‘conflict minerals’ in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo; and the liberalisation of border trade in Myanmar, by which the country’s generals sought to dry up smuggling revenues of rebel groups. Its findings suggest that, counterintuitively, attempts at economic pacification can increase rather than decrease violence, conflict and insecurity. This is not only because economic interventions in contexts of conflict can shift the incentives of warring factions in unforeseen ways, but also – and more fundamentally – economistic approaches to conflict operate on limited assumptions about the nature of political violence. They consequently fail at addressing the underlying political drivers of conflict.