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The golden days of US sanctions may soon be over

by Andrew Wright (Workers GB Writers Group)

According to the independent Venezuelan news outlet, Orinoco Tribune, a US magazine called Foreign Affairs has stated its belief that the impact of US sanctions policy is diminishing with alarming rapidity; world economic dominance by the US dollar is in terminal, irreversible decline; and with it, US political dominance over the world’s economic systems.

The opinion piece by Agathe Demarais highlights that sanctions have long been powerful diplomatic weapons but are currently in the twilight of their effectiveness. “The golden days of US sanctions may soon be over”

Compelling evidence for what the Orinoco Tribune says certainly exists, and has existed for some time.  Economic sanctions, whoever applies them, simply cannot work effectively if the sanction stranglehold is broken by countries continuing to freely trade with the country or countries being targeted by the sanctions.

As far back as 2018, with Russia already a target of US and EU sanctions, China, Iran and even India were freely signing trade agreements with Moscow; China in particular in order to fulfil its ambition for its ‘new silk road’ programme. Alliances were created not only in Asia and Europe but also in Africa; all of which excited no little panic in the corridors of power in Washington DC.

China has created a successful means of bypassing SWIFT (Society For Worldwide Interbank Telecommunication), which facilitates business transactions in US dollars. 

In 2020 the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, led by China and Russia, officially gave priority to the development of payments in the currencies of its member states. In consequence, the Cross-Border Interbank Payment System was created, bringing into existence a rival organisation to SWIFT. A successful rival.

Sanctions are essentially what a blockade is intended to do in time of war; a ‘peaceful’ method of attempting to starve a population into political compliance and/or to hopefully provoke civil unrest and counter-revolution within the targeted country. 

Ultimately, sanctions are impossible without the military force to back them up. 

Economic warfare and military warfare are at bottom the same thing. War as the saying goes, is the continuation of politics, but other, more violent means.

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