"Suddenly [the Australian government] wanted to know what the demand would be for Australian iron ore and other commodities, and just what price the Japanese were prepared to pay for steel," the former intelligence officer said.

"We gave market information [to] major companies like BHP which were helpful to us, and officers at overseas stations would trade snippets with some of their commercial contacts … BHP knew we were giving them secret intelligence. They lapped it up."

Australian spy agency helped BHP negotiate trade deals

Intelligence has always needed to meet a demand. In peace the demand is generally economic. Since all wars are about resources (land, money, women (hello, Helen of Troy nee Sparta), water, prestige, power …) in peace the fighting happens in the economic sphere.