Opinion | The U.S. Is the Only Sanctions Superpower. It Must Use That Power Wisely.

Often, U.S. officials treat these rules as an obstacle preventing them from taking strong actions. Yet these restrictions provide America with a strategic advantage: They give foreign countries and businesses some reason for trust. When the United States gives in to the temptation to weaken these protections — as when the Trump administration threatened to freeze Iraq’s accounts at the New York Federal Reserve after it requested the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2020 — it undermines the long-term strategic interest of the United States.

Overreach, then, is the more immediate threat. No one expected the array of sanctions, designations, technology controls and asset freezes to be assembled as quickly, or at such scale. Now there is a nearly palpable air of giddiness among policymakers. Every day brings new restrictions that build on one another. European officials have mused that they might use this new form of economic warfare to “bring down”…

Read more…