San Diego Law Review


Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



The United States' tool of choice to further its foreign policy goals appears to be economic sanctions. Since 1993, the United States has increasingly applied economic sanctions to further its foreign trade policy. Specifically, more than one-half of the sanctions imposed in the past eighty years have been imposed in only the past four years. The frequent use of economic sanctions has angered and discouraged our allies while significantly weakening the United States' national interests. With so many countries under sanctions, the efficacy of using economic sanctions to promote the United States' foreign policy has been called into question. Suffering from "sanctions fatigue," the international community no longer supports many of the sanctions. Many of the United States' allies avoid or even evade the sanctions, thus undermining the value of the sanctions as a foreign policy tool. The sanctions against Cuba* illustrate the ineffectiveness and cost, both politically and economically, of unilateral sanctions.