Resolved: Economic sanctions ought not be used to achieve foreign policy objectives.
Debate Rounds (3)
"Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors."
-Thomas Henry Huxley
The irrationally held idea that these sanctions are for the common good is incorrect. I will show this in my speech. If were to reason that these are a mistake, less harm would be imposed on the implementing nation.
Economic sanctions should be beneficial for both parties, not only one. However they fail on this purpose. Economic sanctions harm innocent women and children, and furthermore, do not stop the wrong doing of the target government on their own. Other measures are used that make these sanctions seem effective.
Before I continue, I wish to offer the following definitions in order to clarify my case:
From Merriam Webster online:
Innocent: free from guilt
Ought: used to express obligation
Foreign policy: a set of goals outlining how a country will interact with other countries, from the world politics review
Economic sanctions: domestic penalties applied by one country to another for a variety of reasons, from freetrade.org
Security: a state of being free from danger, from Merriam Webster online dictionary
My value for this round is common good. Merriam-Webster's online dictionary defines common as belonging to or shared by two or more individuals or things or all members of a group of or relating to a community at large. This is because economic sanctions harm the innocent, thus endangering the common good. My criterion for this round is Protection of the Innocent. This is because the innocent harmed by economic sanctions did nothing to deserve this.
We will examine this through the following
1st: Economic sanctions hurt the country that imposes them.
2nd: Punitive sanctions backfire.
3rd: Iraq demonstrates the danger of economic sanctions.
Now onto my first contention, that economic sanctions harm the country that imposes them. According to Reflections on the sanctions decade and beyond, by M. Doxey, in the 2009 International Journal, economic sanctions interrupt regular business activity. Even though these sanctions are intended to cause costs on the target, they often unlikely cost-free for the country imposing them. For example, Britain says that a possible decline in domestic employment is a reason that they oppose sanctions against Africa. In other words, the country imposing them could end up hurting themselves more than they hurt the target country.
Now to my second contention, that punitive sanctions backfire.
Subpoint A. Economic sanctions can lead to a cease in future policy changes on the part of the target country. According to Targeted sanctions: motivated policy change, by A Lowenberg and W Kaempfer, in the Fall 2009 Harvard International Review, Punitive sanctions are expected to impose a high amount of economic damage on the target country. These types of sanctions often carry the risk of foreclosing future policy changes of the target. This is because punishment tends to cease communication of both countries. With this lack of communication, compromise is unlikely In other words, these sanctions are ineffective.
Subpoint B. Economic sanctions have not been proven to work by themselves. According to Reflections on the sanctions decade and beyond, by M. Doxey, in the Fall 2009 International Journal, "success is key question to ask when looking at economic sanctions. If the target does modify or abandon the offensive policy, can that success be attributed only to economic sanctions, or were other important factors at play? And to what extant can a backlash discredit those imposing the sanctions?." In other words, these sanctions probably don't act by themselves.
Moving to our last point, Iraq demonstrates the danger of economic sanctions. According to Re-thinking humanitarian aid on the post-Gulf War era: the International Committee of the Red Cross takes the lead, by S. Denne, in the Fall 2007 Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, "Initially the international community looked favorably on the sanctions imposed on Iraq because the sanctions were intended as a short-term policy strategy to pressure Iraq into withdrawing from Kuwait. Even after the U.S. invasion forced Iraq to withdraw, support remained to pressure Iraqi compliance with other U.N. resolutions at the time. Though these measures were intended to cause political pressure on Iraqi government, they caused harm on the most vulnerable in Iraqi society, the elderly, the sick, and the poor-those with little influence on policy and government." In other words, governments have ran away with the power these sanctions' power. Who is to say they won't do it again? No one. Besides this, they harm the innocent.
In conclusion, economic sanctions harm the peoples common good, backfire, and impose more harm than good, and for these reasons, I strongly urge an affirmative ballot.
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