Smart Sanctions: A Short History by Uri Friedman | Free Essay Example

Smart Sanctions: A Short History by Uri Friedman

Words: 564
Topic: Politics & Government

Summary of the Article

The article “Smart Sanctions: A Short History” by Uri Friedman reviewed different political sanctions in the last decade. Uri analyzed the concept of sanctions a political tool. Friedman revealed that targeted sanctions were used by the Greek Empire to address territorial conflicts. The aim was to pressure the enemy or political foe to change tactics. The author analyzed the evolution of politically motivated sanctions in the present dispensation. To begin, Friedman analyzed a series of political sanctions between 1892 and 2012. Friedman concluded that sanctions have become a new political tool of the 20th century.

In 1992, the European pacifist enacted laws that enforced what they call peaceful sanctions among member countries. As a result, delegates from member countries adopted the resolution as a solution to territorial conflicts. However, after the First World War, French ambassadors endorsed a treaty that will isolate countries in times of war (Friedman 4). The French ambassadors called the resolutions as a diplomatic expression. In 2011, the US and the United Nations enforced political, economic and territorial sanctions against the Libyan president. The mission was simple; isolate the Libyan president and her political allies. However, the sanctions could not achieve its objectives because of technical flaws. Between 2011 and 2012, the US imposed targeted sanctions on Syria, North Korea, Iran, and Iraq. However, Friedman argued that the sanctions produced a positive and negative response in different regions. For example, the sanction imposed on China, and Tokyo influenced the Second World War (Friedman 5). Friedman believed that sanctions have been morphed into a new political tool that serves humankind.

Analysis of the Article

Sanction is a political act enforced on a country. Sanctions could be political, economic, social, or military. However, it is an alternative solution to war. Thus, the sanction is a corrective measure used to change the behavior of a group, region, country or individual. Sanctions stimulate a positive and negative response. After the Lockerbie bombing in 1988, the US and her allies enforced sanctions on the Libyan government for her role in the incident. As a result, the Libyan president gave up the accused for trial. Similar sanctions in South Africa, Serbia, and Somalia have achieved positive results. However, sanctions can be a tool that influences regional conflicts. The targeted sanctions of 1941 led to the Japanese uprising.

Consequently, sanctions imposed on Iraq between 1991 and 2001 led to the deaths of women and children. The sanction weakened trade agreement between Iraq and her neighbors, thus, affecting the poor population. Thus, the economic importance of sanctions as a new political tool will require careful analysis. To make sanctions efficient, world leaders must utilize a common strategy. First, smart sanctions require international cooperation. Second, political sanctions must be accompanied by internal instability. For example, targeted sanctions on Libya would not yield results when the nation is stable. Domestic instability must be used as a weapon against the sanctioned country. Third, economic sanctions can be substituted with incentives to avoid political conflict. Thus, sanctions can be used in accordance with stipulated laws.


The article analyzed the effects of sanctions in the present dispensation. Friedman believed that smart sanctions can be used to change the behavior of corrupt leaders. However, the procedures of political action must be in accordance with stipulated laws. Sanctions can improve the conditions of a nation; however, it could cause deaths.

Works Cited

Friedman, Uri. “Smart Sanctions: A Short History.” FP Magazine. 23.1 (2012): 1-6. Web.