Efficacy of Sanctions against Energy-Producing Countries

Economic sanctions have become the tool of choice for American foreign policy. This is particularly true after recent painful experience with military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq and because of the perceived success of past economic sanctions. At a time of plentiful oil and gas supply and cyclical downturn in energy pricing, this especially applies to offending oil-producing countries, which became more vulnerable to sanctions, with seemingly little consequence to global energy markets. Sanctions against Iran over nuclear proliferation and against Russia for its aggression against Ukraine are the two most prominent current examples.

Edward C. Chow
Senior Associate (Non-resident), Energy Security and Climate Change Program