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Why sanctions do not work.

By Mehroz Siraj - posted Friday, 11 March 2022

At the time of this writing, we are still continuing to hear about a deluge of sanctions coming through from the western world targeting Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin.

At the time of this writing, many Russian banks have been removed from the global banking communications network and Visa and MasterCard have suspended their services in that country.

While these sanctions are aimed at hitting Russia's economy by weakening President Putin and his government, the ground realities and historical facts support a different rationale.


The real rationale here is two pronged. Firstly, sanctions never work.

Secondly, President Biden's reading of history and ground realities, unfortunately seems to be very low.

Firstly, let me explain in the light of historical facts as to why sanctions do not work.

History proves that if a nation and its government decide to embark on a certain path that enhances their senses of better economic freedom and national security, there is no power that can generally undo them.

Germany and Pakistan are two classic examples that prove this point. After being defeated in the First World War, Germany had seen itself be sanctioned to the teeth.

The fact this had led to a massive momentum of resentment is something on which historians unanimously agree.


It was this massive resentment, along with other socio-economic issues that were the bye products of the Treaty of Versailles, that led towards the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

Hitler's meteoric rise and the transformation of Germany into a regional power in the 1930s and the events that followed and led to World War Two, do not need to be recounted here.

However, it is suffice enough to believe that the sanctions imposed on Germany in the Treaty of Versailles failed badly and in essence, sowed the seeds for the Second World War.

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About the Author

Mehroz Siraj is a journalist with more than five years of writing and reporting experience having worked with newspapers in Pakistan, and on many websites around the world. Mehroz is a Pakistani international student at RMIT University.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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