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I can’t think of a historical example of economic sanctions even moving the situation toward the putative goal of regime change in the target country, let alone achieving that goal.

I’ve lived under UN sanctions imposed on Serbia under Milosevic regime during the nineties. Two things happen: 1) people in the regime leadership don’t suffer 2) the little people who do suffer feel attacked and rally around the leader. Pretty much the opposite of what the sanctions ostensibly aim to achieve.

This same dynamic played out in Cuba, North Korea, Iran, you name it, for decades with no good effect.

What brought Milosevic regime down was the aerial NATO assault and its aftermath, not the sanctions.

As far as I can tell sanctions are a way for US politicians (they may be imposed by all the western countries, but I can’t think of an example where US wasn’t the leader) to look like they are punishing the offending country without going to war. They just don’t seem to work.




I'm not sure the entire plan is to get the country to do what you want. It's also about not supporting your enemies. Why send them raw materials, hardware, software that they will then use to fight against you? This seems to have worked for the countries you listed and a few more with the possible exception of Iran. They are much weaker than they could have been and are therefore not as significant a threat.


That rings true to me, and it sounds very cruel and depressing. By that measure it hasn’t worked with North Korea either, slowly but surely they have turned into a significant threat to US.

It may also turn out to be just a short term improvement in safety. Hatred toward the West as the perceived, and real, tormentor festers in the population over generations, and that’s a very bad thing long term.

I’m not saying I know of a better solution.


South Africa is seen as a success.


That’s a good example, albeit a special one where the regime was not accepted as being of the people by a large majority of the population.


It's really hard to judge how 'accepted' governments that remain in control via fear and information control are.


US government officials have a long history of adopting stupid policies that do the exact opposite of what they claim. Sanctions. War on drugs. Iraq war. Hell, pretty much everything they do never has the intended consequences but others. It's not that hard to foresee the consequences, but they don't care. They are either stupid, callous or both. Most are vicious, disgusting human beings who likely get off on the suffering and loss of life they create. And the population keeps voting the same scumbags in time and time again. What does that say about the people here? You can decide.




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