In recent years, unilateral sanctions pushed forward by Washington have become one of the main geopolitical trends. The United States, it seems, has grown accustomed to the fact that a handful of international players cannot provide it with an adequate response, which results in Washington getting increasingly inclined to advance its foreign policy interests through this tool of pressure at the expense of other countries.
To support this notion, one can remember the role that US economic sanctions introduced against Japan in 1932 under Herbert Hoover played in the creation of preconditions for a war in the Far East. Or one can bring up the US sanctions against Cuba, introduced in 1958, which Washington tried to use to undermine the Cuban government in a bid to “teach a lesson” to all the states that sought independence from the United States.
The United States has also tried to “punish” China after the controversial events in the Tiananmen Square back in 1989. Those sanctions, according to Washington’s strategists, must have hampered China’s economic development.
Event the sanctions that the UN Security Council introduced against Iran in 2011 weren’t enough for the White House that pushed for the ban on Tehran’s ability to access the SWIFT financial network, prohibit investments along with the supply of equipment that could assist Iran in developing its oil and gas infrastructure. The US would use those sanctions not just to dishearten Iranian authorities and citizens, but to advance its own interests in the Middle East.
Russia, as the “main political opponent” of Washington, has been repeatedly threatened with sanctions, as the White House would introduce the Jackson–Vanik amendment, the Magnitsky Act, and the new anti-Russian trading restrictions. Those are just a part of a larger picture.
In an bit to preserve its role of the sole “international gendarme” Washington is not only trying to frighten individual international players with the strength of its weapons and secret services. With the largest economy in the world, the US with a yearly GDP amounting to some 18 trillion dollars, abuses a wide array of tricks to persuade other countries into supporting the sanctions Washington unilaterally imposes. However, the states with weak economies and armed forces are not the only ones that fall victims to such trickery on the part of the White House. The European Union, which could have demonstrated an independent policy from the United States, seems to be unable to do so due to the deep political ties it has with Washington. That why it has been quickly drawn in America’s sanctions games even though these games do not compliment its own interests. There’s a good reason the US is pushing its allies so hard, since sanctions is a loser’s game when you are unable to get your “partners” to support them.
This has been confirmed by Richard Morningstar, the head of the Global Energy Center at the Atlantic Council, who would note that:
We have to recognize that unilateral sanctions generally don’t work. It’s necessary to have the support of allies. The 2014 energy sanctions against Russia have worked, he said, because the US negotiated them in partnership with the European Union. The current measure under consideration would expand those sanctions but would be put into force only by the United States.
Indeed, the latest US sanctions against Russia provoked a wave of outrage across a number of European countries that recognize the fact that by introducing them Washington is trying to brute force its way into the European energy market. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has recently noted that Brussels will be taking protective measures if the US, under the pretext of anti-Russian sanctions, will try to bring its “America First” policy to existence at the expense of European taxpayers.
The unilateral sanctions policy is an instrument of direct economic pressure, that why the US has been trying to get away with an ever increasing number of restrictions introduced against other international players with the aim of seizing a larger share of various trade markets.
For instance, US officials have recently announced that they’re going to introduce sanctions against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela due to the fact that its authorities would hold the Venezuelan Constitutional Assembly election.
At the same time, Tehran has recently accused Washington of violating the Iranian nuclear program deal signed back in July 2015 in Vienna, filling a complaint to the UN Security Council for it to address this situation.
Senior advisers to President Trump are trying to devise economic sanctions against China “behind the scenes”, against the backdrop of the situation around the DPRK, writes Politico, citing two officials in the US administration.
However, the number of dissatisfied with the ill-conceived policies of the United States is growing by the day across the world. In addition to Europe, there’s Russia, China, and a number of Middle Eastern states. This discontent is showing itself in speeches delivered by all sorts of politicians and media people. It’s hardly surprising, then, that there’s an ever increasing number of those who demand the introduction of sanctions regime against the United States itself. We’re talking about both the political and economic sanctions for the unpunished deaths of thousands of civilians in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and many other countries that fell victims of the blatant armed intervention of the United States. The international community is fed up with the desire of the “international gendarme” to enslave the whole world and impose its own rules upon each and every one, which, as a matter of fact, completely contradicts the existing international law.
Washington is not just running the risk of facing international sanctions, but it may soon as well face an international tribunal due to the ever increasing number of cases of unpunished slaughter of thousands of civilians across the globe.
Martin Berger is a freelance journalist and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”