February 26, 2024
Sanctions. They're the talk of the town right now as the world watches Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Social media and the news networks are full of "experts" sharing their opinions on every aspect of sanctions associated with the current world situation. Should they have happened sooner? Did the West wait long enough? Are they too harsh? Should they be much tougher? Is there a clear criteria for Russia to comply with to have them removed? Will they ever completely go away? A BETTER PEACE welcomes Mark Duckenfield, former Department Chair of the Department of National Security and Strategy to discuss the topic. Mark holds a PhD in political science from Harvard University where he specialized in European political economy. He joins podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to look at sanctions from a historical perspective. When have sanctions worked? When have they failed? What are the necessary conditions of economies, cultures and people that will enhance or stymie the effects of economic sanctions?

Sanctions. They’re the talk of the town right now as the world watches Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Social media and the news networks are full of “experts” sharing their opinions on every aspect of sanctions associated with the current world situation. Should they have happened sooner? Did the West wait long enough? Are they too harsh? Should they be much tougher? Is there a clear criteria for Russia to comply with to have them removed? Will they ever completely go away? A BETTER PEACE welcomes Mark Duckenfield, former Department Chair of the Department of National Security and Strategy to discuss the topic. Mark holds a PhD in political science from Harvard University where he specialized in European political economy. He joins podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to look at sanctions from a historical perspective. When have sanctions worked? When have they failed? What are the necessary conditions of economies, cultures and people that will enhance or stymie the effects of economic sanctions?

Well probably the most famous successful application was the American and Allied sanctions and threatened sanctions against Britain and France during the Suez crisis in 1956…they started interfering with British and French abilities to get loans and the British and French, though militarily successful, ended up caving very quickly.

Mark Duckenfield is Professor of International Economics in the Department of National Security and Strategy (DNSS) and at the Strategic Studies Institute and the former Chair of DNSS at the U.S. Army War College. He holds an MA and a PhD in Political Science from Harvard University where he specialized in European political economy. He has written numerous academic articles on gold, financial crises and international political economy and is the author of the book Business and the Euro.

Ron Granieri is Professor of History at the U.S. Army War College and the Editor of A BETTER PEACE.

The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense.

Photo Credit: Iron chain photo created by d3images – www.freepik.com, Rubles courtesy of MaxPixel.net

3 thoughts on “WAR BY OTHER MEANS? SANCTIONS AND CONFLICT

  1. Dear Sir,
    Economic Sanctions, Diplomatic Arm Twisting, Posturing by Armed Forces, No Fly Zones or Naval Blockades have been tried by Nations for long, so have alignments/realignments keeping in mind Strategic Interests.
    In the past, due to the absence of Globalization and the related Interdependence of countries on each other from distant/diverse regions , economic sanctions were most effective. However, today, we can be sure that such sanctions have a strong possibility to Boomerang and hurt domestic industry as well as citizens. This is what can be seen in the High Price Rise of Fuel as well as the Refusal of Germany to stop buying Russian Oil.
    Countries going to war today factor in the impact of Economic Sanctions much before they go to war. And to add to that, it is too early to hazard a guess as to how effective such sanctions will actually turn out to be.
    The bottom line as I see it from a ‘standoff ‘ position is that the Citizens of Ukraine have been left high and dry by NATO and USA.
    Sanctions have come too late and are too little when one evaluates the military machine grinding through Ukraine. Military action is what was required with the minimum effort being to ensure a No fly Zone over Ukraine.
    My sympathies with the Ukrainians and grief at this great human tragedy is unqualified and unquestionable.
    Hopefully , we shall soon see America taking a more mature position in world affairs.

  2. As usual, this was an excellent podcast with many perceptive insights by Prof. Duckenfield. I was waiting for him to bring up the 1941 situation with Japan as an example of sanctions leading to war, and I thought he would draw explicit parallels with the current situation vis a vis Russia and Ukraine. I do think he went too far, however, in saying that if Japan had caved in to U.S. demands to withdraw from China that Japan would have become a “vassal” or “colony” of the U.S. – no more than would Russia today be a U.S. vassal if it withdraws from Ukraine. Yes, in both situations backing down would be humiliating, but that is a long way from being like India was then to Britain or the Philippines was then to the U.S., and is not, contrary to what Prof. Duckenfield suggests, parallel to the relation of European powers to their Asian and African colonies. The war, therefore, was not launched to protect the well being of the Japanese people, but rather to vindicate national honor and prestige.

  3. From a strategic point of view:

    a. Sanctions imposed by the U.S./the West in the Old Cold War of yesterday — when the Soviets/the communists were doing “expansion,” of their way of life, their way of governance, their values, etc., back then — these such sanctions need to be viewed from the perspective of the U.S./the West’s Old Cold War “containment” and/or “roll back” strategies? Whereas:

    a. Sanctions imposed by the U.S./the West in the New/Reverse Cold War of today — when it has been the U.S./the West who has been doing “expansion” of, in this case, our way of life, our way of governance, our values, etc., post-the Old Cold War — these such sanctions need to be viewed, accordingly, from the perspective of the U.S./the West’s New/Reverse Cold War “expansionist” strategy?

    (In this strategic regard, might we see Vladimir Putin’s “roll back” efforts in Ukraine, Syria, etc., in the New/Reverse Cold War of today; this, in much the same way that we might have seen President Ronald Reagan’s “roll back” efforts — for example, in places like Central America, etc. — during the Old Cold War of yesterday?)

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