All four countries are already under differing degrees of sanctions by the US, but Trump wants to tighten the screws against each of them for various reasons. Pyongyang and Tehran have both already come under more unilateral economic restrictions by Washington due to their missile programs, while Caracas stands ready to face the wrath of the US’ financial warfare instruments due to its impending pro-democracy actions in assembling a new constituent assembly. As for Moscow, it’s been the victim of a “deep state” witch hunt for months now originating from the fake news allegations that it interfered in the US’ 2016 elections.
As a show of force, the US Congress is on the verge of passing a broad sanctions bill which will impose penalties against North Korea, Iran, and Russia, showing that these sorts of measures remain one of America’s preferred means of destabilizing its adversaries.
Sanctions have long been a tool of American foreign policy for decades, but they rarely achieve any visibly tangible dividends. More often than not, instead of toppling the governments and national elite that they’re usually directed against, they lead to unnecessary burdens and humanitarian difficulties for the vast majority of the population and their civil societies. Granted, the US believes that this tactic is useful in order to turn people against their governments, but there has yet to be a case where this policy has inarguably succeeded in the way that it was intended. It’s indeed feasible that sanctions could lead to elite infighting in some of the targeted states which destabilizes their leaderships and creates openings for Color Revolutions to succeed, though this is more wishful strategic thinking than a solidly provable concept.
In spite of the controversy surrounding them, and whether the motivation behind them is just a political fantasy or a credible long-term plot, there’s no denying the fact that sanctions still remain part and parcel of American foreign policy, and that the Trump Administration isn’t shy about wielding this asymmetrical weapon.
To discuss all these issues we are happy to be joined by Vladimir Rodzianko, managing director at The Duran, and Gordon Hahn, Senior Researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies at Akribus Group, and expert at Corr Analytics.
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