The history of success, or lack thereof, from sanctions put in place by America’s government would indicate that they don’t do much good. They may even do some harm by exacerbating tensions with already belligerent nations. Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow at Cato Institute and a regular contributor to The American Conservative, writes that anti-Russian sentiment in Congress and Washington D.C. has reached alarming levels. He urges Congress to give up on sanctions that are more likely to backfire than to change Russian behavior.
Congress has overwhelmingly passed legislation imposing new economic sanctions on North Korea, Russia and Iran.
The extent and virulence of anti-Russia sentiment has reached alarming levels. Members of Congress and other opinion leaders in both parties have branded the alleged Russian hacking of the 2016 election as an act of war, and one congressman even explicitly compared it to Pearl Harbor and 9-11.
Economic sanctions have the dubious quality of being simultaneously provocative and ineffectual. The latest manifestation likely will cause serious trouble for the United States on multiple fronts. Policymakers need to overcome their addiction to sanctions before it produces an immense tragedy.
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