QI’s Advocacy Director Responds to Biden Sanctions Review


CONTACT: Alex Jordan, Deputy Communications Director, [email protected]

WASHINGTON, DC — The Quincy Institute’s Advocacy Director, Marcus Stanley, issued the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s long-awaited review of U.S. sanctions:

“This review is underwhelming and deeply disappointing, to the point of being non-responsive to the ethical, humanitarian, and practical failures of American sanctions policies over the last several decades.

“While sanctions that are narrowly targeted against individuals and criminal organizations can be tactically effective, broad-based economic sanctions inflict collective punishment on civilian populations while largely failing to bring about their stated policy goals.

“America can’t be a global champion for human rights while continuing to carry out a sanctions regime that inflicts deep harm on civilian populations. We need a top-to-bottom assessment of our sanctions policies and their impacts. The marginal changes suggested in the administration’s review are wholly insufficient.

“The vague references to humanitarian exemptions and “tailoring” sanctions in this review fly in the face of extensive evidence that such limited measures do not adequately address the civilian harms created by broad-based sanctions.

“Real reform would require a far-reaching reconsideration of the role of sanctions in U.S. foreign policy. We’ll keep working to make that happen. If the executive branch will not undertake a full assessment of the efficacy and humanitarian impact of sanctions, Congress should step up to do so. Amendment #125 to the NDAA, which requires the GAO to perform a study on this issue, is an initial step.”