To rein in countries like North Korea … global powers are boosting their reliance on United Nations sanctions aimed at forcing recalcitrant a government to drop weapons programs, stop attacking their civilians or respect the results of elections. They usually fail.
Countries should be wary of seeing sanctions as a magic bullet, US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew recently said in a speech. “We must guard against the impulse to reach for sanctions too lightly or in situations where they will have negligible impact,” Lew said.
“Sanctions have failed to achieve their objectives, and even the success stories have a mixed record,” said Daniel Wagner, author of the Political Risk Insurance Guide. “Countries have found ways around the sanctions and can counter them.”
“Sanctions are applied to the most complex, intractable problems where the military option is not the solution,” said Thomas Biersteker, a professor at the Graduate Institute of Geneva, who has written extensively on sanctions.
[South China Morning Post]