Countries are exposed to economic pressures as one of the means and tools in managing the international conflict, and these pressures take the character of economic discipline, which the country that has made the decision to launch an economic war on another country seeks to prevent it from implementing its economic policy or obtaining international economic benefits.
From this standpoint, the pressing country takes several measures with the aim of forcing this concerned country to impose a punishment on it, to modify its political position and to obtain the pressureer state on its political and diplomatic goals. In general, for economic sanctions to be more effective, the sanctions must pursue a specific goal.
The United States adopts a sanctions policy that relies on disrupting commercial and financial relations for political and security purposes. As a result, the economy of sanctioned states is negatively affected, and this includes people before the regimes. However, the impact varies according to the nature of the sanctions; for example, Russia was affected by decreasing of investment in it, the decline in oil revenues and the reduction of exports. As for Iran, it faced a suffocating financial crisis due to the freezing of its assets and the prevention of transferring funds to it, even if it was its right. Sometimes the penalties are as detailed as prohibiting a specific substance, such as exporting coal to China.
The origin of this policy dates back for more than a hundred years when President Woodrow Wilson presented the issue of economic sanctions, and said his famous sentence: "A nation that is boycotted is a nation that is sight of surrender." After the end of World War II, and when the United States became a world superpower, it began to impose economic sanctions as alternatives to armed conflict. However, economic sanctions are not an American invention. Rather, ancient empires used to resort to this method in order to expand and impose hegemony.
By the end of the "Cold War", the United States became increasingly dependent on economic sanctions, which could be in the form of boycott, applying the naval blockade, or the imposition of customs duties on countries' exports. The ability of the United States to impose sanctions comes from several factors:
1- Military power and the presence of hundreds of bases spread around the world
2- Control of banking systems and remittances system
3- Possessing the basic keys to the global economy due to the hegemony of the dollar over the global economy and its control over 88% of commercial transactions around the world
Most of the financial transactions around the world, including Russia and China, are in dollars, which makes many countries seek to have dollar cash reserves, so more than 60% of the global monetary reserves are from the US dollar.
In Cuba, America imposed an economic embargo that began in 1959 after the Cuban Revolution, and branded it as a state sponsor of terrorism. Although Barack Obama's administration eased some sanctions, the administration of his successor Donald Trump re-imposed part of them. Then Joe Biden returned and expressed his intention to ease again. The trade blockade on Cuba is the longest in recent history.
In Russia, the first US sanctions against it began during the era of the Soviet Union, and this progressed until the 2012 sanctions came against Russian officials accused by the Americans of practicing human rights violations, and other sanctions followed during the Ukrainian crisis. Those sanctions affected its economy, and companies, banks included in the sanctions list found it difficult to enter the Russian market, in addition to fleeing capital from the country, and that money was estimated at that time at about $ 75 billion.
In Iran, the United States imposed sanctions on it since it took a number of American hostages after storming the embassy during the revolution in 1979, and began to freeze Iranian assets in the United States and travel bans. These sanctions gradually increased and included preventing the transfer of funds from Iran to it, and then in 2010 it decided to stop the supply of Iranian fuel and take deterrent measures against foreign groups investing in the Iranian oil sector, from where Trump tightened the sanctions until these days.
In North Korea, the United States imposed sanctions since the Korean War continued until now, then tightened during the Obama era, depriving it of billions of dollars in revenues from exporting, especially coal.
The countries on which Washington has imposed economic sanctions seek to reduce their dependence on the dollar, and switch to other currencies in their trade, which may affect the role of the dollar in the global economy. This finding was concluded by the Congressional Research Unit, warning that if countries switch to alternative currencies, the United States may face a number of economic consequences, including higher borrowing costs. Although Washington is using the dollar to achieve foreign policy goals, US restrictions may have unfortunate consequences for the United States itself.
The US military power is in the second place compared to financial strength among the weapons that Washington uses in global hegemony, especially in the era of Donald Trump, who used the dollar extensively in recent years in the economic embargo against countries that differ with it in foreign policy, or object to decisions that Washington would like to pass it through the United Nations and other common international organizations.
Economic hegemony is based on several such as the World Trade Organization, financial and international institutions, and multinational companies that impose a single economic pattern on poor and developing countries under the pretext of helping them get out of their economic isolation, but in fact they want to make the economies of these countries subordinate to it, which is what the states do The United States of America that intends to control resources and wealth.
Economic hegemony is accompanied by cultural hegemony that uses multiple and sophisticated means to impose the lifestyle, value and culture of the United States and to dedicate its distant strategy on peoples, nationalities and states.
It is also associated with technological dominance after the United States witnessed a great development in its technological capabilities and became at the forefront of the capitalist countries that launched the information revolution, especially in the military fields, space and communication technology, electronic minds and genetic engineering, and it also dominates the world by owning its administration: scientific search engines, global Internet networks , And global communication networks.