Sanctions Are Becoming `Weapon of Choice' Leading World Powers Turn More to Use of Nonmilitary Means

By Mark Sommer. Mark Sommer is a research associate of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program California . | The Christian Science Monitor, August 3, 1993 | Go to article overview

Sanctions Are Becoming `Weapon of Choice' Leading World Powers Turn More to Use of Nonmilitary Means


Mark Sommer. Mark Sommer is a research associate of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program California ., The Christian Science Monitor


CAN the freezing of bank assets and the isolation of outlaw regimes replace the dropping of bombs as the world community's weapon of choice in response to gross violations of international law?

Advocates of nonviolence are no longer alone in asking this question. With increasing frequency, political leaders are looking to multilateral economic sanctions as a partial answer to the increasing reluctance to taking up arms.

Of 116 cases of sanctions used since World War II, 80 percent were initiated by the United States alone. During its first 40 years of existence, the United Nations applied sanctions only twice - in Southern Rhodesia and South Africa. But over the past three years the UN has imposed sanctions against three nations - Iraq, Libya, and the former Yugoslavia - and arms embargoes against three others - Liberia, Somalia, and parts of Cambodia controlled by the Khmer Rouge.

The world community is increasingly experimenting with comprehensive sanctions as an alternative to piecemeal, unilateral embargoes.

Success thus far has been mixed. A recent survey by the Institute of International Economics estimates the "overall effectiveness rate" of economic sanctions at 34 percent. If the goal is to reverse an aggression or usurpation that has already taken place, or to disable the military potential of an outlaw state, the chances that the embargo will succeed are low. Success is more likely when the goals are modest, the nation targeted is small and dependent on supplies from nations participating in the embargo, and there is an active internal opposition that supports imposition of sanctions.

Embargoes are also more effective if they are universally and comprehensively applied. This degree of international coordination has yet to be realized. As sanctions begin to bite, prices rise, making illicit trade with the renegade nation more profitable. The temptation to deal can become irresistible, especially to companies and individuals driven by greed, or other pariah nations that have difficulty finding outlets for their wares on the open market. Even for nations operating from a more principled position, such as Jordan during the Gulf war, the cost of complying in the interests of the world community but against their own is sometimes too high to bear without compensation from those asking them to sacrifice.

As currently applied, economic sanctions are blunt tools that sometimes hurt those they are meant to help, while leaving those they are intended to punish unscathed. The UN has applied its most stringent sanctions to date against Serbia, but their effects have been most devastating to the 80 percent of the public that has been driven below the poverty line by their effects. Like the Hussein regime in Iraq, the Milosevic regime so completely controls information that sanctions have actually produced a rallying effect among the populace, reinforcing its paranoid view of the world and strengthening its will to resist. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Sanctions Are Becoming `Weapon of Choice' Leading World Powers Turn More to Use of Nonmilitary Means
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.