Smart Sanctions Against Individual Haqqani Leaders Instead of a Group-Wide Designation

By Robert Chesney
Thursday, November 3, 2011, 11:00 AM

A while back I posted on the fact that the State Department has not formally designated the Haqqani Network as a whole to be a foreign terrorist organization, which among other things precludes application of the 1996 material support law.    At the same time, however, the State Department has used its authority under IEEPA (as invoked through EO 13224 to issue targeted designations against particular Haqqani Network leaders, includin a new one just the other day.   In my earlier post, I wondered why the broader step of a group-wide designation had not been taken.  Thinking about the ongoing use by State of the targeted approach, however, it now seems to me that this is an understandable approach amounting to a "smart sanctions" strategy designed to assist the larger project of bringing the Haqqanis to the negotiating table.

Of course, a group-wide designation would also increase the likelihood of a problem arising in terms of some organization--say, ISI--that might be providing some form of aid or assistance to particular Haqqani-related figures.  The targeted approach may help to avoid such awkward situations.