The United States needs a theory of sanctions, based on honest reflection and study of how economic pressure can and can’t induce the types of behavioral changes that policymakers aim for.
Latest in Department of Treasury
On Sept. 24, the Federal Register published two proposed rules from the U.S. Treasury Department governing the implementation of provisions from the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA).
The Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) has released an opinion supporting the Treasury Department's refusal to comply with a congressional request for President Trump's tax returns. The OLC opinion can be read here and below.
Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin has sent a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee denying that committee access to President Trump's tax returns. The letter is available here and below.
It may not feel like it, but the United States is well into the sixteenth year of two national emergencies. President Bush declared the first emergency on September 14, 2001, in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This proclamation triggered statutory provisions that gave the President broad authority to increase the size and scope of the military, apportion certain defense funds as he saw fit, and recall retired military forces to active duty.
Removing the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) from the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) would create conditions for greater security cooperation between the United States and the PKK in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). In exchange for delisting, the PKK could be required to reiterate its rejection of ISIS, pledge to further support the campaign to degrade and destroy the terror group, and officially renounce violence aimed at achieving political objectives.
Editor’s Note: Sanctions are increasingly America’s foreign policy instrument of first resort, promising success without the bloodshed that comes with military force. Iran’s willingness to cut a deal over its nuclear program is likely to make sanctions proponents even more confident. But Peter Feaver of Duke University and Eric Lorber of Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher argue that the United States risks relying too much on sanctions. They contend sanctions’ effects are difficult to predict and the targeting often goes awry.