Accession Number:

ADA415058

Title:

Sanctions: Buying Time for Better Options

Descriptive Note:

Strategy research project

Corporate Author:

ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2003-03-10

Pagination or Media Count:

32.0

Abstract:

This paper will examine the effectiveness of sanctions regimes imposed against South Africa, Iraq and North Korea in the twentieth century. It is important to understand why sanctions worked in one case, and why they have thus far failed in the other two. Even more important is to understand why sanctions, in spite of their statistically ineffective performance, are important in the achievement of long term national security policy objectives. One thought is that going slow while moving forward offers several advantages, especially when one is not clear on the destination. One significant advantage is the opportunity to buy time while examining or developing other options. Sanction regimes generally do not work as intended, and suffer widespread criticism. On the other hand, sanctions have generally served well as an economy of force option by trading some degree of tolerance for time to develop other options. The other options occasionally result in a stalemate in which no better solution emerges, as is the current situation with North Korea. Occasionally time purchased at the expense of patience has bought only the opportunity to stage combat operations, as was the case against Iraq in 1991. And sometimes patience pays off with the peaceful achievement of policy goals. In every case, success or failure, sanctions have forestalled precipitous military action for the period. of time necessary to consider alternatives, and provided the legitimacy that results from first trying available actions short of war prior to commencing hostilities.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE