Thursday, April 5, 2012

(Opinion) Sanctions work!

Whether you see the realm of international politics as a state of nature or a society of states, tools of coercion are necessary. We can debate for days about the ethics of politics and consequences of accepting such ethics but when the aim of the participants is survival secured by power, ethical discussions are cast aside. In the cruel game of coercion , the use of sanctions is the most effective means afforded to states in light of the global trend of economic integration, making sanctions, rather than sabotage, a more rational policy  .

The detractors of sanctions cites it's use by powerful states to crush nations they disagree with, which does have traction with the use of sanctions by the US against Iraq from after the gulf war to operation Iraq freedom. the United States along with the EU is currently are using sanctions against Iran in its attempt to isolate the Islamic republic in an attempt to stop their alleged march to nuclear weapons despite Iran's constant reiteration of their peaceful intentions regarding to nuclear power. 

However,  it can be argued that use of sanctions regarding its use against Iran is beginning to take effect on Iran as both its oil production and exports have suffered substantial slowdowns, likely to have a effect on its nuclear ambitions. While sanctions are effective when targeted at key exports and institutions, they do not guarantee policy change. 

For all the sanctions levied on Iraq throughout the nineties, it did not change Saddam Hussein position on nuclear weapons or UN inspections of them. Other complications with the use of sanctions is that leads to the growth of black markets as smugglers acquire goods for profit using other currencies, which currently taking place in Iran. Nations targeted by sanctions can also trade with nations yet to participate in the use of sanctions, making the use of sanctions an exercise of futility

In sum, sanctions in the current political climate are useful but are only part of the solution. in order to work they must be uses in conjunction with diplomatic efforts as constant communication with the targeted nation can lead to negotiations regarding policy change.  


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