Economic Sanctions Initiative

  • Multilateral Sanctions: Brexit Wrecks-it?

    On October 3, 2017, the Atlantic Council hosted a conference with experts from the public and private sector to discuss the impact of Brexit on economic sanctions policymaking. The United Kingdom (UK) currently plays a considerable role crafting and implementing sanctions policy in the European Union (EU). Transatlantic cooperation and sanctions alignment are vital to ensure the effectiveness of this essential foreign policy tool. 

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  • Trump Administration's Significant Action on Russia Sanctions

    The Trump administration on October 26 issued a robust list of Russian defense and intelligence sector entities plus public guidance, which together seem to indicate its intention to robustly implement the new Russia sanctions. Although the list does not itself impose sanctions, it is a significant action, which, if implemented carefully, could impose new restrictions on Russian military and intelligence apparatus. 

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  • Aligning Economic Sanctions

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    In Aligning Economic Sanctions,author John Forrer, associate research professor of strategic management and public policy at the School of Business at George Washington University, explains why developing better aligned economic sanctions is critical for this vital foreign policy tool to achieve its desired outcomes.

     

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  • Economic Sanctions After Brexit: What Roles Should the Public and Private Sector Play?

    On October 3, The Atlantic Council’s Economic Sanctions Initiative held a two-paneled public event entitled: Economic Sanctions After Brexit: What Roles Should the Public and Private Sector Play? 

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  • The New Russia Sanctions Law

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    In “The New Russia Sanctions Law–What It Does and How to Make It Work,” authors Ambassador Daniel Fried, distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council and former coordinator for sanctions policy at the US State Department, and Brian O’Toole, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, explain that Congress primarily adopted the law to block a unilateral lifting of sanctions, which was under consideration in the early days of the Trump administration. Fried and O’Toole add that, by passing the act, Congress was able to demonstrate its determination to resist Russian aggression in
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  • Crude Awakening

    On August 2, 2017, US President Donald J. Trump signed into law H.R.3364, a new set of economic sanctions aimed primarily on Russia (with additional measures adopted against Iran and North Korea). Essential to the success of any sanctions regime is its alignment. As defined by John Forrer in an upcoming paper, economic sanctions are aligned when they “inflict a prescribed amount of economic loss… at a level to achieve the identified foreign policy goal(s) with the least amount of unwanted harm.” 

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  • Former Deputy Director of the CIA on Russia, Venezuela and North Korea Sanctions

    On September 11, the Atlantic Council’s Economic Sanctions Initiative and the Institute of International Economic Law (IIEL) at Georgetown Law hosted David S. Cohen, Former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), to discuss Russia, Venezuela and North Korea sanctions in an interview with IIEL Faculty Director Chris Brummer.

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  • The Big Chill(ing effect)

    In March 2014, the United States and the European Union (EU) issued the first in a series of sanctions against the Russian Federation for its destabilization of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea. These restrictions, which initially focused on senior Russian government officials and private individuals, have expanded to include large corporations, financial institutions, and even entire economic sectors. In retaliation, Russia has adopted counter-sanctionsof its own. With the US Treasury Department adding new sanctions in recent weeks—after the US Senate had passed its own legislation on the issue...
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  • Economic Sanctions: Sharpening a Vital Foreign Policy Tool

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    Despite the popularity of economic sanctions as a foreign policy tool, their ability to deliver sustained impacts on target countries is often called into question. In “Economic Sanctions–A Vital Foreign Policy Tool,” author John Forrer, associate research professor of strategic management and public policy at the School of Business at George Washington University, explains the reasons behind sanctions’ enduring popularity. The author argues the most compelling reason for their appeal is that they can be designed and deployed to achieve many foreign policy goals. 
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  • A Vital Foreign Policy Tool

    This is the first EconoGraphic as part of our recently launched Economic Sanctions Initiative. The initiative aims to promote dialogue between the public and the private sector to investigate how to improve the design and implementation process of economic sanctions. The following text includes excerpts from our upcoming brief titled “Economic Sanctions: Sharpening a Vital Foreign Policy Tool” by our nonresident senior fellow John Forrer. Please visit our website to learn more about our work on economic sanctions.

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