At first glance, the aborted sale of Arm Ltd., the U.K. semiconductor designer, to Nvidia Corp., a U.S. semiconductor company, is a cautionary tale for investors, yet another in the cascade of woes for Softbank Group, the Japanese company that owns the company.

Don’t be fooled: The Arm saga exemplifies the complexities of the emerging national security economy, a tale not only of techno-nationalism, but also of its dynamics and repercussions, intended or not.

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