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Return to Coercion Theory

ECONOMIC COERCION IN THE SERVICE OF NATIONAL SECURITY

Address by
Ambassador Paul D. Taylor (Ret.)
CURRENT STRATEGY FORUM
June 16, 1998

Dont just stand there, do something! Few phrases better capture the American spirit of
activism than "dont just stand there, do something!" Doing something, in the realm of foreign
affairs, frequently means imposing economic sanctions. Sanctions against 35 countries were
instituted from 1993 to 1996 by 61 U.S. laws and executive orders. Sanctions have become the
method of first resort in foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. As we meet, Congress has
under consideration new legislation on sanctions specifically relating to religious persecution,
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, conventional arms sales and transfers, terrorism,
narcotics, travel restrictions, workers rights, war crimes, torture and other aspects of human
rights. Many of these congressional ventures into foreign policy will be paper tigers. They may
give us the satisfaction of condemning objectionable behavior but no other results.
You may think that sanctions never work. We all know of cases that would support healthy
skepticism about their efficacy. In fact, sanctions failed in more than four out of five cases in
the 1970s and 1980s according to research at the Institute for International Economics in
Washington. Worse yet, sanctions are costly. More recent research by the same prestigious
institute found that U.S. sanctions in 1995 reduced our exports to 26 target countries by as
much as $15 to $19 billion, representing more than 200,000 jobs in the export sector, where
wages are relatively high.
As if the economic costs of sanctions were not enough, their cost in terms of our foreign
relations can also be significant. When we try to coerce our allies as in the recent Helms-Burton
Act, which threatens to punish third-country corporations doing business in Cuba, we
jeopardize our relations with our partners in the OECD and even invite retaliation by those
very partners against U.S. companies operating in their countries. Beyond annoying our
friends, we tarnish our image as a leader in promoting a more open international trading and

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financial system when we act to interdict free economic flows in order to promote our national
security agenda.
Allow me at this point to interject a personal note. During three decades as a diplomat, I
worked in a number of efforts to achieve foreign policy objectives by imposing economic
sanctions and I, too, became a skeptic about their power. I had been Chief of Food Policy in the
Department of State when we embargoed grain exports to the U.S.S.R. in order to induce the
Soviets to conclude a long-term grain agreement. As a result, we received countless letters from
farmers protesting that the measures had destroyed their prices and complaining that they did
not wish to be pawns in Henry Kissingers chess game. Later, I participated in daily meetings in
the White House Situation Room for several weeks to devise ways to tighten the economic
screws on Panama in order to push Manuel Noriega out of office. In 1991, I participated from
Santo Domingo in efforts to force the military junta in Haiti to allow President Aristide to
return to office. In short, my service in the economic wars did not inspire confidence in the
magic of economic coercion.
Six years ago, I had the good fortune to be assigned to the Naval War College as the
International Affairs Advisor, more commonly known at the "State Department Advisor" to the
President and as a teaching member of the faculty. What became apparent to me here, as I
taught and read Carl von Clausewitz classic treatise On War, was that economic coercion could
be designed and analyzed in strategic terms, just like other forms of force. Viewed that way, it
was obvious that economic sanctions do work, in some situations and under the right
circumstances. The key issue is to identify the factors that make the difference between success
and failure.
A Simple Definition
To get at that issue, let us step back from the real world for a few minutes to examine a few
simple theoretical concepts. First, economic sanctions can be defined simply as measures taken
to alter or prevent economic activity that would otherwise occur. Sanctions employed to
achieve a national security objective depend on an equally simple assumption: if we can inflict
enough economic pain on an adversary we can induce it to behave as we would like in return
for offering to end the pain.
We have more options now for interfering with economic interaction among countries than
ever before. International commerce has expanded rapidly. U.S. trade with other countries, for
example, grew fourfold from 1970 to 1996. Bear in mind, though, that if sanctions are to
achieve the desired consequence, they must not only cause pain, but they must also influence
behavior. To put the matter in the terms of Clausewitz, they must constitute "an act of force to
compel our enemy to do our will." Viewed that way, economic sanctions are war, as defined by
Clausewitz, and so we had better consider them as such. To think of sanctions as something
other than war, even an alternative to war, is to engage in self-delusion. That way of thinking
may explain why economic sanctions have sometimes been so ineffective.
Another theoretical contribution came from the distinguished scholar of international
relations, Klaus Knorr. Knorr identified three factors that must be met for the successful
employment of coercive economic influence:
1) Actor A must have a degree of control over the supply of something Actor B values.

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2) Actor Bs need for this supply must be intensive.


3) Actor Bs cost of compliance with the demands of Actor A must be less than the cost of doing
without the supply.
Notice that Knorr does not indicate here just how Actor A exercises control over the thing that
Actor B wants. Military power may be necessary to prevent sanctions from being circumvented,
even though many people often think of economic sanctions as peaceful measures,. To
illustrate, once trade is embargoed, the target country, that is the country against which the
sanctions are directed, will face new shortages. These shortages drive prices up and create
incentives for smugglers to beat the embargo, whether they are acting on behalf of the target
government or just serving their own pecuniary interests. Nothing may stop circumvention
short of armed force.
Rather than considering sanctions a non-violent form of coercion as opposed to military action,
I suggest that we will get further analytically if we recognize that the distinguishing feature of
economic sanctions is that they target an enemys economy and not his armed forces or
territory. As we emphasize that the distinguishing feature of economic sanctions is that they
target an economy we can anticipate that sanctions may be implemented by whatever means
necessary, be it diplomatic agreement, naval blockade or both. We can also recognize that
sanctions may become but one important factor in a strategy in which all available coercive
measures must be applied in concert to compel an enemy to do our will.
Three Categories of Objectives
Economic coercion has been called upon to serve distinct three types of national security
objectives, and the differences among these objectives significantly color the nature of the
intervention and its chance of success. First, we have used economic sanctions to punish a
country for behaving badly, with the goal of deterring other countries from following suit. The
economic actions employed against India and Pakistan in response to their nuclear tests
provide a recent example. We hope that the threat of such retaliation will deter an adversary,
just as in military strategy, even as we recognize that if the deterrence fails, executing the
punishment may do little to redress the situation. Even if international sanctions succeed in
damaging the Indian or Pakistani economies, for example, they still will not put the Indian or
Pakistani nuclear genies back into the bottle. The punishment may deter other countries from
conducting nuclear tests, unless of course they conclude that the pain inflicted by sanctions on
India and Pakistan is an acceptable price to pay to be seen as nuclear powers. A homely
example of this type of objective would be withholding candy from a three-year-old. That move
might dissuade him from repeating objectionable behavior, but parents in the audience know
that punishment does not always change behavior.
A second objective of our intervention in markets has been to prevent our adversaries from
getting their hands on certain categories of goods. Export controls on strategic materials that
would enhance an adversarys ability to wage war are a classic use of this strategy. An example
of this type of objective is international cooperation to prevent nuclear components from being
acquired by non-nuclear countries. To apply the approach to our hypothetical child, if we can
withhold candy, we can probably keep him from eating candy. There is always the chance that
someone else will provide a supply, but that is an implementational problem, not a conceptual
problem.

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The third type of objective for which sanctions are often used is to induce another country to do
something, for example, get its troops out of Kuwait in the case of Iraq or return President
Aristide to office in the example of Haiti. This application is very common, and it is probably
the most challenging. In essence, it seeks not just to affect an adversarys capacity to fight but in
fact to bend the will of another, that is, to achieve a psychological transformation. To return to
the example of our three-year-old, this approach is analogous to saying there will be no candy
until he picks up his toys. Whether it will work depends on how much he likes candy, whether
he can get it from someone else and how much he dislikes picking up his toys. Professor Knorr
would ask if the childs costs of compliance are less than the cost to him of doing without the
supply. In simple language, is it worth it to pick up in order to get some candy?
Strategic Criteria to Make Sanctions Work
Drawing on this cursory review of theory, and taking specific inspiration from Clausewitz, we
can identify 6 essential criteria for a successful strategy of economic sanctions. These strategic
criteria are:
1) Support in our own society for a strategy that hurts foreign civilians and often damages the
commercial interests of U.S. citizens and taxpayers. Unlike the armed forces, which are a public
asset controlled by the government, the front line players in a non-violent sanctions strategy
are exporters, importers, investors and financiers. They are likely to see the costs they are
called upon to absorb as an unfair tax imposed without due process and perhaps as a boon to
their overseas competitors when they are required to suspend their business operations. They
will often see sanctions as destroying costly investments built over time.
2) The degree to which an adversary is susceptible to this kind of pressure. Does the target
country rely heavily on foreign trade or finance for things that it can hardly live without? If a
country really operates in isolation, consciously practicing autarky, like Albania until it opted to
join the world economy a few years ago, it offers no fulcrum for the lever of international
sanctions. Do we understand enough about the psychology and the culture of the target
population to gauge how much economic suffering they can tolerate and how they will respond
to it?
3) Know who in the target country will be hurt by economic sanctions and whether they have
enough political clout to make their government accept our demands. This is no time to think of
another country as just a black box. We need to look inside the political structure of a target
country and examine its dynamics to calculate how it will respond.
4) The willingness of other countries to cooperate with us to deny our adversary something he
really has to have. Is another country or group standing by to offset the effect of the sanctions
for political or commercial reasons?
5) The adequacy of the sanctions strategy to achieve the objective which is sought. We country
boys know that a pebble from a slingshot can kill a sparrow but it might not even faze a hawk.
In particular, it is important to know whether the sanctions are targeted on our adversarys
ability to wage war or on the more difficult challenge of altering his will to act in a certain way.
As with our three-year-old, we can be more confident of our ability to deny some strategic good
to our target than we can be certain that our adversary will change his willingness to defy us.
6) Whether we are willing to go to armed conflict to reach our objective if the sanctions fail. If

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not, can we stand to lose prestige by a strategic retreat?


The Case of Iraq
Now let us apply these strategic criteria to some real world examples.
In order to do so, first, let us examine the sanctions employed by the international community
against Iraq in 1990 in an effort to induce it to withdraw from Kuwait without having to engage
in armed conflict. This example satisfies the axiom that the surest lessons in strategy can be
gleaned from failures, not from successes.
In 1990, the conditions for economic sanctions against Iraq seemed to many observers strongly
to favor success. Serious experts in national security argued, in the spirited political debate
about whether to commit U.S. forces to combat, that economic sanctions alone could get Iraq to
withdraw from Kuwait if "given a chance." After all, Iraq was dependent on imports for
two-thirds of its food supply. Petroleum accounted for 95 percent of its export earnings, and
other suppliers were willing to make additional oil available when the world stopped buying
from Iraq. All the major powers in the international economy and the vast majority of the
secondary players were willing, with the Cold War behind them, to cooperate in the trade and
financial embargoes. Moreover, the purpose of the effort was unusually clear. Security Council
Resolution 661 called on member states to prevent trade with Iraq or Kuwait and to do so in
support of Resolution 660, which had demanded "that Iraq withdraw immediately and
unconditionally all its forces [from Kuwait]."
Sanctions did work swiftly to constrict Iraqi trade. The closure of the pipelines in Turkey and
Saudi Arabia and the effective naval blockade reduced Iraqi exports of petroleum from 2.7
million barrels a day to an estimated 100,000 barrels. Export earnings fell sharply, curtailing
imports, and shortages quickly triggered acute inflation. Most ordinary Iraqis diverted their
attention from other concerns, including politics, to devote increasing time to hunt for scarce
goods.
The sanctions against Iraq have to be recognized as one of the most successful applications of
sanctions in history if viewed in terms of how much they disrupted the international economic
relations of the intended target country, Iraq. Why, then, did the sanctions not do more to
induce Saddam Husseins government to comply with the demands of the international
community? Turning again to Klaus Knorr, Knorr explained the relationship between economic
sanctions and the demands they were designed to satisfy when he wrote in 1977 that "defiance
will occur when the economic burden falls short of the costs of compliance." How, then, did the
economic burden on Iraq fall short of exerting the influence we might have expected?
First, it was easy to underestimate the capacity of the Iraqi people to endure economic pain.
They had effectively been "immunized" during the l980s by their prolonged war with Iran. As
their country suffered an estimated 400,000 casualties, their economy had experienced
repeated cuts in civilian imports--50 percent in 1983 alone--as well as a massive shift of
resources from civilian to military uses. During that war, many Iraqis had learned to adjust
their diets to compensate for shortages of foodstuffs and to hoard hard currency and gold.
Their government, for its part, moved to provide some equity in the distribution of food by
restoring rationing, at subsidized prices, and provided new incentives to increase domestic
food production.

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Nonetheless, by March 1991, the combined effects of the embargo and of Desert Storm had
created unrest throughout the Kurdish north and the Shia south, posing the most serious threat
to Saddams rule in 23 years. Revolts led by Shia Muslems flared in at least nine key southern
cities, surpassing any unrest experienced during the war with Iran. The rebellion provided
Saddam an excuse to institute a secondary embargo to divert the available supplies of
electricity, food and other consumer goods to his supporters, primarily Sunni Moslems. He
punished the Kurdish and Shia populations by denying them goods and services. Thus the
ethnically-fractured nature of Iraqi society frustrated a sanctions strategy which had assumed
that the enemy could be worn down but did not take account of how little some segments of the
public could influence their government. Instead of replicating the familiar situation in
Western democracies, where widespread deprivation could be expected to create significant
political pressure, Saddam deftly exploited the situation to concentrate the suffering on his
adversaries while he simultaneously protected his political base.
Another problem for the sanctions strategy was that Jordans support of the embargo was no
better than half hearted. Jordan itself suffered from the sanctions as a neighbor and a major
trading partner of Iraq, and Saddams attempt to curry favor with other Arabs by championing
the cause of Palestinians found resonance in Jordan. Jordanian cooperation with Iraq played a
major role in the success of Iraqi efforts to restore basic services, repair key military and
civilian infrastructure and increase the supply of consumer goods even though the amount of
Jordans trade with Iraq was modest by pre-embargo standards.
This result demonstrated that enlisting the right allies can be even more important to a strategy
of economic sanctions than in a military conflict. Recall that economic sanctions are simply
measures taken to interrupt the transactions that occur naturally in the absence of artificial
barriers. Thus when a neighbor stays neutral or offers only tepid support for sanctions, the
effect is not neutral but in fact becomes helpful to the target country. No one would argue that
adding Jordans military forces to the coalition would have made much difference to the
outcome of Desert Storm. By contrast, the effects of Jordans lackluster support--or even
systematic undermining--of the embargo may have been decisive.
In retrospect, no one argues now that economic sanctions alone could have compelled Saddam
Hussein to withdraw his forces from Kuwait, or at least to do so soon enough to avoid
unacceptable suffering on the part of the victims of his aggression.
Looking at this case with the benefit of hindsight, we see that our strategic criteria could have
predicted the failure of the sanctions strategy to achieve the difficult task for which the
international community employed sanctions. The plus signs on the slide indicate that the
situation was favorable in terms of a strategic criterion and, naturally, the negatives represent
an unfavorable factor in terms of our criteria. On the plus side, public support for the sanctions
was strong. Iraqs occupation of Kuwait was widely condemned, and in addition, our businesses
suffered little from the sanctions, primarily because any shortages caused by restricting exports
of oil from Iraq were offset by increased production in other countries.

On the negative side, we were attempting to change the enemys will. While he was vulnerable
economically, the psychological vulnerability of the Iraqi population was lower than some
might have predicted. The victims had little ability to make Saddam feel their pain. Jordans
failure to cooperate effectively in the sanctions lessened their sting. The most serious weakness
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in the sanctions strategy was simply that it was asked to accomplish too much. Our paramount
demand was that Saddam withdraw his troops from Kuwait. His first requirement was to
survive politically, and he may have doubted whether he could hang on politically if he left
Kuwait before he was evicted physically.
A Few Cases in History
Now let us look briefly at some famous and not-so-famous examples of the use of sanctions and
see what our strategic criteria can tell us about why some attempts succeeded and others failed.
The Old Testament. We learn in II Kings that when the Moabites came to the camp of Israel, the
Iraelites rose up and smote them and drove them out. Not content with a defensive victory, the
Israelites pursued the Moabites into their own country. To quote, "They overthrew the cities,
and on every good piece of land every man threw a stone, until it was covered, they stopped
every spring of water, and felled all the good trees." The king of Moab tried with 700
swordsmen to counter attack militarily, but that failing, he decided he had no alternative but to
offer his oldest son and designated successor as a burnt offering. The Israelite forces did not
linger to enjoy their victory. We are told that in the midst of great indignation after having
rendered the Moab economy uninhabitable, they withdrew to their own land.

We can see in this case that our strategic criteria were favorable in all respects to the strategy of
the Israelites.
The Napoleonic Wars. Early in the last century, Napoleon sought to fight sea power with land
power, to use his political control of the Continent to shut British goods and shipping out of
European ports and thereby ruin the British economy. Reflecting Mercantilist thinking, he
failed to understand that trade was a positive sum game that benefited not only exporters but
also their customers. Europeans, even the French Army, continued to demand British goods,
and they were able to create major leaks in the Continental System, which finally only
engendered widespread antagonism toward the Napoleonic regime, according to R. R. Palmer
and Joel Colton in their History of the Modern World. Our strategic criteria could have alerted
Napoleon that without the support of his public and his allies he had meager chance to defeat
the British by economic sanctions.
The U.S. Civil War. In our own Civil War, the naval blockade of ports in the South reduced the
Confederacys seaborne trade to less than a third of normal levels at a time when its need for
goods of all kinds was much greater than in peacetime. Limiting the export of cotton to Europe
and restricting the supply of critical manufactured goods, the embargo was also one of the
causes of the ruinous inflation that reduced the Confederate dollar to one percent of it original
value by the end of the war. James McPherson, in his classic history of the Civil War, Battle Cry
of Freedom, concludes that "although naval personnel constituted only 5 percent of the Union
armed forces, their contribution to the outcome of the war was much larger." Our strategic
criteria help explain why.
Japan. In this century, the Roosevelt Administration responded to Japanese ambitions in
Indo-China in 1940 by restricting the export of aviation fuel and iron and steel to Japan. Then in
July, 1941, the United States froze Japanese assets and imposed a licensing requirement for all
trade with Japan. On December 1, 1941, General Tojo told the Japanese Privy Council that the

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United States would not modify its position. A day later, the Japanese Ambassador explained to
Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles that "the Japanese people believe that economic
measures are a more effective weapon of war than military measures; that . . . they are being
placed under severe pressure by the United States to yield to the American position; and that it
is preferable to fight rather than to yield to pressure." We know what happened at Pearl Harbor
later that week. In this instance, we may conclude that sanctions were indeed effective but
produced a perverse consequence. By raising the stakes significantly, they helped precipitate
the conflict they were designed to deter.
To apply our strategic criteria again, the cost to the Japanese of compliance with our demands
was simply out of proportion to the burden of the sanctions, especially when it was not obvious
that we were willing to resort to arms if the sanctions failed.
Cuba. The sanctions imposed against the Castro regime in the 1960s were intended first to
discourage Cuban insurgent activity against other countries in Latin America and later to force
internal reforms in Cuba. Their main effect, initially, was to cement Havanas ties to Moscow,
which during the Cold War provided massive economic support to Cuba. The sanctions strategy
was not supported by other major industrialized countries, so what Cuba could have bought
from or sold to the United States could be traded in other markets. In other words, the
economic effect of our policy has been negligible. That point has been largely overlooked. An
unhappy result of the sanctions has been to provide Fidel Castro a plausible external
explanation for the shortcomings of his disastrously managed Socialist economy. If that were
not bad enough, they have opened us to criticism that we are injuring innocents, such as was
heard from Pope John Paul II during his recent visit to Cuba.
Applying our strategic criteria, we see that our strategy of sanctions against Cuba has had little
going for it beyond domestic support. The strongest argument against the sanctions, in my view,
is that they actually help Castro by making him appear the victim, rather the cause, of a
wounded economy.
South Africa. In a quite different case, the U.S. Congress, in an effort to end the apartheid policy
of racial segregation, formalized South Africas isolation by passing strict curbs on the ability of
U.S. companies to do business there. These measures, along with others taken by other
countries against South Africa hit the South African business elite. Combined with a package of
non-economic international measures, such as exclusion of segregated athletic teams from
international competitions, the sanctions were credited with contributing to the election of a
majority, black-led government.
The key to this success, in terms of our strategic criteria, was that the international community
was able to cooperate in pressing key South Africans who had political influence and to do so
using a variety of measures together.
Soviet Union. In 1981, the U.S. embargoed grain shipments to the Soviet Union to press it to
withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Other nations broke ranks and sold grain to the Soviet
Union while American farmers grumbled about the loss of their markets. When the embargo
proved ineffective, President Reagan lifted it. The eventual Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan
had nothing to do with our embargo.
Here our strategic criteria highlight the weakness of a strategy that lacked critical support at
home and from other countries. Given those handicaps, it should not surprise us that an

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embargo on one product did not move the Soviets to undertake a major shift in their
international program.
Panama. In the late 1980s, the sanctions imposed by the United States to induce Manuel
Noriega to resign his presidency seriously wounded the Panamanian economy, which was
integrated with ours and especially vulnerable to pressure from us. Nonetheless, our policy had
little chance to achieve its objective inasmuch as the people who suffered from our actions had
no appreciable influence over an authoritarian Noriega. Our own government assured the
policys failure when the Justice Department obtained an indictment of Noriega and thus put
him on notice that if he left Panama, as we had been insisting, he was likely to end up in an
American prison. Needless to say, the national security community did not clear that
indictment, but the indictment had the effect of narrowing our choices essentially to two
options: abandon our declared objective or go after Noriega militarily.
Our strategic criteria could have predicted that squeezing a people who had no political power
offered scant hope of forcing their President to submit to an unconditional political surrender.
Haiti. In this decade, when President Aristide of Haiti was forced from office in a military coup,
the U.S. rapidly organized an international trade embargo. Despite some leakage in the
embargo, the sanctions succeeded in crippling what had already been the poorest economy in
this hemisphere. The effects within Haiti proved counterproductive, though, because military
personnel were able to profit from their ability to control the scarce supplies that remained
available while the principal victims of the restrictions were not only the poorest elements of
Haitian society, but also Aristides most enthusiastic supporters. By raising the matter to a high
profile when it imposed sanctions, the U.S. Government created the conditions which pushed it
later to have to employ military action to restore Aristide to office.
As in the case of Panama, the sanctions hurt people who had no political influence. Our
strategic criteria could also have warned us that the task we were asking sanctions to perform
was simply excessive.
Guatemala. In a little remembered event in 1993, President Jorge Serrano dismissed the
Guatemalan Congress and sought to consolidate all legislative powers in the presidency. His
action ran counter to the strong U.S. emphasis on democratic governance in this hemisphere
and stimulated an immediate threat of a trade embargo. This threat hit commercial leaders in
Guatemala who feared a reversal of recent successes in their countrys export-led growth
strategy. They had the political muscle to protect their interest and they quickly persuaded
Serrano to retreat from his power grab.
In terms of our strategic criteria, the economic sanctions that were threatened proved adequate
to do the job because they targeted a politically important group who were able to convince
their government to undertake a relatively modest change of course.
Economic Sanctions Like Some Other Instruments of Warfare
Now that we have examined some of the history of economic sanctions, let us compare them
with two other strategies unequivocably associated with warfare: strategic bombing and
submarine campaigns against an enemys commerce. The three approaches target the same
objective, i.e. the enemys economy. Each approach is essentially a standoff technique, carried
out with minimal exposure of friendly forces. Each is likely to injure non-combatants and that

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factor makes it difficult to predict either how it will affect an enemys will to resist or how long
the country applying the pressure can sustain a political consensus to do so. Eliot Cohen wrote
in Foreign Affairs in 1994, "Air power is an unusually seductive form of military strength, in
part because, like modern courtship, it appears to offer gratification without commitment." He
could have been discussing sanctions.
One is hard pressed to find an example of a major strategic objective being achieved by
economic sanctions, strategic bombing or submarine warfare alone. If any of these approaches
is applied in concert with other types of force, though, the result can be decisive. The
advantages of combined arms have become accepted as axiomatic in military warfare. Joint
operations involving a rich mix of infantry, armor, air power and sea power rapidly achieved
the strategic objectives of Desert Storm. Strategists should consider economic sanctions as one
more weapon to be included in the concept of combined arms. Similarly, those contemplating
the application of economic sanctions or assessing their results would be well advised to learn
to think in terms of the strategy of conflict.
As we look into the future, we ought to consider that the track record is not very good on
convincing countries to give up by attacking their social and economic infrastructure.
Conclusion
We have seen that if we plan and execute economic sanctions strategically, they need not be
useless but neither are they an all-purpose weapon. They may be effective if our objectives are
proportional to the weight of our measures and if the right conditions are present, especially in
the target country and with our potential allies. When sanctions are the only pressure we are
applying, our demands may have to be relatively modest if we are to have any hope of success,
as in the Guatemalan case. We should also think twice about the costs to our own economy and
what our next steps should be if sanctions fail. We must particularly avoid using sanctions as
an easy way out when no other course of action appears attractive. We would benefit as a
country if we learned to think about all the consequences of going to war before we fire even
an economic shot. In the worst case, a casual decision to impose sanctions can condemn us to
an unhappy choice between surrender and military action.
So to conclude, dont just stand there! Think strategically!

References:
Carl von Clausewitz, On War, edited and translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret
(Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1976).
The Bible, Revised Standard Version, American Bible Society, 1973.
Eliot Cohen, "The Mystique of U.S. Air Power," Foreign Affairs, January/February, 1994.
Klaus Knorr, "International Economic Leverage and its Uses," in Klaus Knorr and Frank N.
Trager eds., Economic Issues and National Security, (Lawrence: Regents Press of Kansas, 1977).
James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, (New York: Ballantine Books, 1988)

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R. R. Palmer and Joel Cohen, A History of the Modern World, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991).
Robin Renwick, Economic Sanctions, Harvard Studies in International Affairs, Number 45,
(Cambridge: Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, 1981).
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