By Banning Russian Oil, Europe Forgot How It Won the Cold War |

All the more important to be sure that sanctions are effective foreign policy tools, then, given that ordinary Russians and Europeans are the ones who suffer the hardest from trade restrictions and resulting price inflation. However, upon close inspection of all economic sanctions in the half-century between the 1930s and the 1980s, studies have shown that only about 5% of them turned out to have had its desired political effect.

Moreover, in line with Ron Paul’s thinking, economic sanctions, like protectionism, increase the risk of war, as the post-Cold War record shows. In both Iraq and Libya, sanctions have paved the way for war; in Syria they preceded the arming and training of the rebels; in Iran they have only ever increased tensions unnecessarily; and in North Korea, finally, the implementation of sanctions after the regime’s first nuclear tests in 2006 failed to prevent further nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

Having learnt nothing, many Western foreign policy architects hope that the latest round of sanctions will result in Putin’s overthrow, whether they admit it openly or not. Yet, for those who have heard about the rallying-around-the-flag-effect, it does not need to surprise that Putin’s approval ratings soared from 70% to 80% since the invasion. It is precisely because of NATO’s eastern expansion, Western regime change operations, and sanctions that he succeeds—regretfully—in painting Russia as the victim and legitimizing the war at home.

By Banning Russian Oil, Europe Forgot How It Won the Cold War | The Libertarian Institute