The Effectiveness of the UN Economics Sanctions Imposed on Iraq
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Economic sanctions have become a common tool of coercive foreign policy, as a prelude or an alternative to warfare. In the case of Iraq, economic sanctions were largely ineffective in achieving the UN resolutions they were designed to implement. The UN sanctions were not successful in achieving the complete withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait. It took military intervention to restore a credible, independent government in Kuwait. Neither did the economic sanctions de-stabilize Saddam Hussein’s regime or ensure the complete destruction of all of Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction. As a political tool, comprehensive economic sanctions harmed Iraqi civilians instead of punishing the Iraqi regime for its irresponsible behavior.
The economic sanctions imposed on Iraq hurt every aspect in the Iraqi society and the country’s infrastructure. The suffering of the Iraqi people cannot be attributed solely to the economic sanctions, since the Iraqi regime continued to divert essential resources from civilian needs to building presidential palaces and fortifying its own security services. By almost every measure - such as malnutrition, child mortality and overall morbidity - the situation of most Iraqi civilians deteriorated during the period that the economic sanctions have been imposed upon Iraq.
The economic sanctions were imposed on Iraq for twelve years and persisted because the complete disarmament of Iraq was not achieved. Throughout the past decade the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein has continually evaded and deceived the UN inspectors about its nuclear, chemical and biological weapon capabilities.
The UN economic sanctions were not successful in implementing the UN resolutions as they were designed to enforce, owing to a number of political, economic and regional factors. The purpose of this thesis is to assess the economic and political factors that led to the dismal failure of the UN economic sanctions in this case.
CitationMaraqa, L. A. (2003). The effectiveness of the UN economics sanctions imposed on Iraq (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.
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