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Sanctions: What Are They Good For?

Deutsche Welle

05 Jun 2021

John Smith spoke to Deutsche Welle about sanctions increasingly becoming the tool countries use to punish bad behavior around the world.

“They are the alternative between words and war,” John said. “Every president, Democrat or Republican, and every Congress, Democrat- or Republican-led, loves the sanctions tool.”

He added: “Sanctions are best when they’re multilateral,” otherwise it can be relatively easy for the target to evade them. He noted that for sanctions to work, they need to be part of a larger strategy that includes incentives, such as diplomatic support or financial aid.

“The people who think that sanctions are the panacea to all of the world’s problems are really going to be misguided or disappointed,” he said. “Sanctions are supposed to be one tool.”

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