Economic Warfare: Sanctions, Embargo Busting, and Their Human Cost
Governments today deploy trade sanctions, blockades, and financial restrictions as their political weapons of choice to curb aggression and to enforce international morality. But is economic warfare an effective foreign policy instrument? In this lively and highly informative investigative history, R. Thomas Naylor demonstrates repeatedly that punitive measures almost always fail to achieve their stated goals and often cause unintentional harm, especially to the innocent populations of the embargoed countries. In reality, economic warfare breeds corruption, creates thriving black market economies, criminalizes legitimate businesses, and helps turn limited conflicts into global ones.
Naylor illustrates the futility of forcing political change through economic pressure by describing in intricate detail the poor record of lateral and multilateral sanctions aimed at the former Soviet Union, South Africa, Iran, Iraq, Cuba, Panama, and other "pariah" governments. In virtually every case, he shows how embargoes, trade restrictions, and asset freezes are successfully circumvented through an interdependent sanctions-busting network of shell companies, offshore banks, professional money laundering operations, and "flags of convenience" shipping centers. In meticulously documented stories wrapped in deception and denial, secrecy and subterfuge, Naylor reveals that economic warfare inevitably promotes economic crime or gangster capitalism. As corrupt profiteers who are in league with the political elite of targeted states gain power and influence, they reinforce the regime's commitment to the very policies that led to the imposition of sanctions. And, as in the case of Iraq, where 200,000 children died of a malnutrition-related disease while Saddam Hussein and his ruling class prospered, the human cost invariably falls on the poorest elements of the rogue state's society.
Written with compelling prose and wry wit, Naylor's eye-opening account of the dire consequences of economic warfare takes the reader on a fascinating journey through an underworld of corrupt leaders, privateers, gun-runners, drug traffickers, gangsters, and spies.
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PART ONE Method in the Mayhem 1 Mightier Than the Sword?
The Fortunes of War
PART TWO The Eagle and the Bear 3 Seeing Red 3 5
PART THREE The MuchPromised Land 7 Out of Their League
Shooting Holes in the Arms Embargo
Friends and Neighbours
PART FIVE Bellum Americanum
PART SIX Trouble on Oiled Waters
PART SEVEN Hellfire and Saddamnation
PART EIGHT Yugoslavia Humpty Dumpty and the Berlin Wall
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