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The Contender
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Economic sanctions ought not be used to achieve foreign policy objectives

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/18/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,299 times Debate No: 10858
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
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I negate the resolution, Resolved: Economic sanctions ought not be used to achieve foreign policy objectives.

Observation 1: Definitions:

a)Economic sanctions - Discriminatory restrictions or complete bans on economics exchange, designed to punish the target country or group.

b)Foreign policy - a policy governing international relations.

Observation 2: Value and Criterion

Value: The supreme value in which to weigh the round is that of protection of human dignity.

Author of Human Dignity: Social Autonomy and the Critique of Capitalism, Werner Bonefeld, explains human dignity as "Dignity cannot be sold, quantified or conferred. Dignity is a concrete human value that belongs to each individual. It is an indivisible human value; human dignity subsists through the mutual recognition of human needs."

The nations which are normally economically sanctioned are nations with tyrant and violent regime. Then, the nation's corrupted regime is endangered to maintain its political system because nation does not have sufficient financial power to keep citizens in control. Thus, by imposing an economical sanction, the leaders within that nation must give in to demands which other nations wants such as reducing the violation of human dignity with harsh tyrant ruling. So economical sanction can successfully achieve foreign policy objectives and promotes human dignity by making the country's leader to force country to give up tyrant rules.

Criterion: The only way to uphold the value of human dignity is the standard of Security. As Bonefeld explains, having all the human needs are the central part of recognizing human dignity. Then, having all the need human need to have can be achieved on the base that people are secure from any external dangers.

According to Sabina Alkire, who has a PhD degree in philosophy said, "The objective of human security is to safeguard the vital core of all human lives from critical pervasive threats, in a way that is consistent with long-term human fulfillment."

This quotation clearly provides that having secure circumstances is the most important aspect of living a human life or having a human dignity. Purpose of imposing a sanction against any nations is to protect the people's security in its own nation. Thus, since purpose of doing economic sanction is to protect the security of the countries' citizens. Thus, by imposing an economic sanction, it is promoting a security and protecting human dignity of its own countries citizens.

Furthermore, Chapter 7 U.N Charter allows the Security Council to use different measure from economic sanctions to military intervention in order to maintain peace. Then, Article 1, section 8 of the U.S constitution gives Congress a power to regulate the trade, thus making congress available to impose a sanction.
Contention 1: Economic sanction and nuclear proliferation

According to Matthew Levitt, who is the senior fellow in Stein program on terrorism, in his online debate "Can Sanctions be Effective in Halting Iran's Nuclear Program?", said, " Iran faces Significant vulnerability within the international financial system. FATF has already issued new guidance on implementing financial prohibitions to prevent Iranian weapons of mass destruction proliferation. Then, this prevention or sanction made Iran unable to make any mass destruction weapons."

This quotation clearly showed that the sanctions against Iran made not only financial instability but also in instability in energy to create a weapons. Thus, due to the economic sanction the U.N imposed, Iran was unable to create a nuclear weapons, thus, U.N achieved its original foreign policy.

Impact of this is that by prohibiting Iran to create nuclear weapons, U.N reestablished the world peace. Furthermore, U.S and other nations also protected the security of many citizens. So, by ensuring the security of its own citizens, it not only firmly achieved its own foreign policy objectives but also promoted human dignity.

Then, According to Dianne E. Rennack, Author of "North Korea: Economic sanction." Clearly said "North Korea is seen as posing a threat to U.S National Security. With North Korea expelling International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors and declaring that it would withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty, including United States, Japan, South Korea and the European Union – in turn suspended shipments of fuel oil. Due to these sanctions, North Korea lacked an ability to create a nuclear weapon."

This quotation clearly shows that North Korea was unable to create nuclear weapons due to these sanctions, and thus, U.S once again achieved national security by imposing an economic sanction. Furthermore, North Korea clearly said that on January 11, 2010, North Korea said, they are ready to have a peaceful talk in Six – Party talk. Thus, it clearly shows that U.S successfully achieved its goal of this policy.

Contention 2: Sanctions against drug lords.

In the Article Sanctions on Mexico Drug Lords, by U.S Department of the Treasury, said, According to OFAC director, Adam J.Szubin, said, "We are today (July 20, 2009) targeting sanctions against four drug lords who are senior leaders in Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel." Then, later in the article it said, "Since July 2009, more than 475 businesses and individuals associated with 82 drug kingpins have been designated by OFAC. Designation action freezes any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from conducting transactions or dealings in the property interests of the designated individuals and entities. And, today (January 2, 2010) number of U.S citizens addicted to narcotics in Mexico decreased by 30%."

Thus, it clearly shows that by imposing a economic sanction against these drug lords, drug lords were not able to spread their illegal drugs more widely. Thus, then these economic sanction halted their expansion, thus dwindled its business. Therefore, U.S achieved original policy of protecting U.S citizen's security, and also ensured human dignity.


Value Premise: Justice. Justice, or giving each his or her there fair due. Justice is the basis of any moral, social, or political framework.
Value Criterion: Government legitimacy, Government legitimacy means a government fulfills its responsibility to those who it governs. Those responsibilities include the preservation of natural rights life, liberty, and property.
Economic Sanctions: Economic penalties, such as stoppage of trade and financial transactions, imposed upon a country to force compliance with another country's or UN's or WTO's demands as defined by
Ought: Ought is used to express moral obligation as defined by
Foreign Policy Objectives: General objectives that guide the activities and relationships of one state in its interactions with other states.
I will state the following observation to clarify the resolution.
Observation 1: Universality - the standard provides a test for morality that does not depend on the particular context of an action. The resulting judgment will be general like moral statements of the kind that the resolution is.
Contention 1: Sanctions have been proven to bring harm upon citizens of the imposed sanctioned country.
Sub Point A: Sanctions against Iraq have caused massive long- term human suffering and have inflicted and undermined the common view of sanctions. According to UNICEF since 1991 Iraq's explosion in child mortality rates, water- borne diseases from untreated water supplies, malnutrition in large sectors of the population. 237,000 children under the age of five are dead as a result of sanctions. The devastation of the Gulf War and the sanctions that preceded and sustained such devastation changed all that. Often forgotten is the fact that sanctions were imposed before the war-in August of 1990-in direct response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. After the liberation of Kuwait, sanctions were maintained, their focus shifted to disarmament. In 1991, a few months after the end of the war, the U.N. secretary general's envoy reported that Iraq was facing a crisis in the areas of food, water, sanitation, and health, as well as elsewhere in its entire infrastructure, and predicted an "imminent catastrophe, which could include epidemics and famine, if massive life-supporting needs are not rapidly met." U.S. intelligence assessments took the same view. A Defense Department evaluation noted that "Degraded medical conditions in Iraq are primarily attributable to the breakdown of public services water purification and distribution, preventive medicine, water disposal, health-care services, electricity, and transportation. Hospital care is degraded by lack of running water and electricity." Saddam Hussein's government is well known for its human-rights abuses against the Kurds and Shi'ites, and for its invasion of Kuwait. What is less well known is that this same government had also invested heavily in health, education, and social programs for two decades prior to the Persian Gulf War. While the treatment of ethnic minorities and political enemies has been abominable under Hussein, it is also the case that the well-being of the society at large improved dramatically. The social programs and economic development continued, and expanded, even during Iraq's grueling and costly war with Iran from 1980 to 1988, a war that Saddam Hussein might not have survived without substantial U.S. backing. Before the Persian Gulf War, Iraq was a rapidly developing country, with free education, ample electricity, modernized agriculture, and a robust middle class. According to the World Health Organization, 93 percent of the population had access to health care.
Contention II: Economic Sanctions are ineffective at achieving foreign policy objectives.
Sub Point A: Americans ongoing Sanction against Cuba is one prime example of sanctions being ineffective. The 1992 Cuban Democracy Act states that its purpose is "to maintain sanctions on the Castro regime so long as it continues to refuse to move toward democratization and greater respect for human rights." However, "the embargo has been a failure by every measure. It has not changed the course or nature of the Cuban government. It has not liberated a single Cuban citizen. In fact, the embargo has made the Cuban people more impoverished, without making them one bit freer. It is rather evident that this sanction has failed to achieve its stated objective. Because economic sanctions fail to consistently and effectively achieve foreign policy objectives, they undermine governmental legitimacy by failing to significantly impact the well being of the people, nor to increase their security or potential for prosperity. They therefore fail to satisfy the value of justice.
By eradicating Economic Sanctions we can uphold a stable government and better achieve our foreign policy objectives.
For all these reasons I urge a vote of Affirmative, I know Stand Ready for Cross-Examination.
Debate Round No. 1


leegood21 forfeited this round.


marvinlibra44 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


leegood21 forfeited this round.


marvinlibra44 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 146190 8 years ago
I would accept, if it weren't for the fact that I just debated this same topic twice simultaneously...
Posted by leegood21 8 years ago
my criterion is security
Posted by 146190 8 years ago
Can anyone CLEARY explain to me con's criterion? It's just that the way he explained it didn't really get through to me...
Posted by Metz 8 years ago
Not true. If sanctions can bring a country to the table to negotiate then theoretically they were a success.
Sanctions do not require toppling of the old government.
Posted by Nails 8 years ago
Because if the sanctions don't completely topple the government and instill democracy, they are in no way ya
Posted by applesnacks 8 years ago
so in other words it works sometimes - either case, we should or we shouldn't implies that it works which it doesn't always achieve whatever goal we have. Cuba i guess it did i don't really know, but theres still a communist government, so ya.
Posted by Cherymenthol 8 years ago

It has achieved the goals. It cut off needed to funds for cuba to increase its military arsenal and become a viable threat.
Posted by bambiii 8 years ago
its the NFL topic for LD
Posted by Ore_Ele 8 years ago
Is there a debate class doing this topic or something? Cause this is like the 5th debate on this exact issue in the last couple of days.
Posted by bambiii 8 years ago
but then look to the sanction implied on India in which we imposed it to stop them from developing Nukes. and if you look to the U.N charter of nations, we, as the united states, signed on to protect the rights of all people within countries. and by using sanctions we are trying to rid the world of toxic leaders. and in some instances it works and sometimes it doesnt.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by marvinlibra44 8 years ago
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