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10.14: Economic Sanctions

  • Page ID
    51801
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    Short of military intervention are economic sanctions. One conspicuous example was the U.S cutting off oil from Japan in 1941. Another was the Arab nations’ oil embargo against the U.S. during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. More recently, the U.S. has repeatedly imposed sanctions, with limited effect against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, with eventual success against South Africa regarding democratic reform of its racist policies, and with success against Libya regarding terrorism and nuclear nonproliferation. Unfortunately, sanctions are often evaded (North Korea and Iran are experts at this) and they often hurt the ordinary population rather than the leaders. One example is the 60 years of U.S. sanctions against Cuba, which ruined the economy but did not force the Castros from power. Analysts say that sanctions work about one-third of the time.

    The new wave of ‘smart’ sanctions pioneered by the Bush 2 administration work better by cutting off access to banking (this has emerged as the killer app) and targeting leaders - not allowing them and their families to travel abroad, freezing their and their companies’ overseas bank accounts, etc. The UN’s five permanent Security Council members plus Germany (P5 +1) cut off Iranian oil sales and froze Iranian banks, Revolutionary Guard corporations and oil companies out of overseas business. The currency fell, prices rose and Iran finally agreed to negotiate the 2015 agreement that froze their nuclear program. Similarly, because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. and the EU imposed financial sanctions on the Russian leadership, plus broad trade sanctions. Removing these sanctions was what Putin wanted from Trump. Trump tried to do it, but was stymied by Congress. However, one Russian oligarch close to Putin named Oleg Deripaska did successfully lobby the Trump administration to have sanctions removed against him.

    Questions

    1. List the most important dimensions of military power.

    2. List two ways that military power can be ineffective and give an example of each.

    3. Define soft power and compare the importance of military power and soft power.

    4. Evaluate the military power of the U.S., Europe, Russia, Japan, China and India.

    5. Which countries account for most arms sales?

    6. Give one example each of effective deterrence, ineffective deterrence, and miscommunication/misunderstanding/misperception.

    7. Give one argument for and one against preventive war.

    8. Briefly explain MAD and list the elements in the nuclear triad.


    This page titled 10.14: Economic Sanctions is shared under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Lawrence Meacham.

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