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Economic sanctions: Assessing their use and implications for U.S. foreign policy

In the nearly two decades since the 9/11 attacks, the United States has expanded its use of economic sanctions to address a broad range of national security and foreign policy objectives. Through the innovative use of financial penalties and greater integration in the global banking system, sanctions have become the go-to tool of economic warfare. They are widely applicable, scalable, and can be comprehensive or targeted. Yet, with Washington’s increasing reliance on these policy instruments, serious questions remain about their long-term effectiveness and their potential to produce unintended consequences.

For sanctions to achieve strategic objectives they must be adapted to a new era of geopolitical competition and coordinated with other forms of diplomacy. To help make sense of the design, implementation, and implications of sanctions, Foreign Policy at Brookings will host a panel of experts with a combined background in the use of sanctions in Latin America, Europe, North Korea, and the Middle East.

Bruce Jones, vice president and director of the Foreign Policy program, will kick off the event with introductory remarks. He will be followed by a panel discussion with Brookings Senior Fellows Suzanne Maloney, Jung Pak, Ted Piccone, and Tom Wright, moderated by Jim Goldgeier, Robert Bosch senior visiting fellow. The session will conclude with questions from the audience.

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