Us sanctions against libya Essay

There is no doubt that developing economic statecraft made the world far more peaceful nowadays than it was before and of course developing of this field played a great role in resolving political problems. As military force is much more expensive to use, economic sanctions became the handy tools for the states to use in order to gain desired results from other targeted countries. So economic sanctions, also can be understood as economic coercion can be defined as an act or threat from Sender State or from union of states to disturb economic exchange with Target State, unless the latter go along with expressed political demand. Such economic disruption may consist trade sanctions, embargos, boycotts, blockade, aid termination, freezing of financial assets, maybe also using tariff rates or quotes as manipulating mechanism by individual decision of Sender.

Though in a progressively integrated global economy, before implementation of any single sanctions it is crucial to make a clear understanding of costs and benefits by imposing economic or financial pressure. If we ignore actual factors (exact meaning) of economic sanctions that cause effective consent from the targeted countries we still can argue that the capability that the imposed economic sanctions give have limited efficacy for changing attitude, behavior or in general the government in the target country.


The USA began imposing sanctions against Libya yet in 1978, when certain types of military equipment sales were prohibited as a response to Libya’s involvement with international terrorism. There were multiple bans on assets, loans, economic assistance and support from international institutions. The US labeled Libya as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1979 and remained with this status until 2006. Between 1981 – 1982 traveling to Libya was restricted, because US government declared passports of its own citizens invalid. On January 8 1986 former US president Ronald Reagan issued executive order as an economic sanction against Libya, because that was following step against terrorist attacks on December 1985 carried out at the Vienna and Rome airports. Credible evidence indicated that the government of Libya supported the Abu Nidal terrorist organization, which was responsible for the attacks. US imposed a ban on import of crude oil and restricted also export from US, later sanctions were much more tightened. Later in 1988 bombing of Lockerbie occurred. Pam Am flight N:103 exploded over Lockerbie and died 270 people, because of this incident. Later there was explosion of French flight, which caused death of 171 people. In 1996 Iran Libian

According to re executive order sanctions were formulated in the way to achieve specific foreign policy goals, of course there was also intended to change Libya’s habit for supporting international terrorism.

Main political goals were defined why US was willing to lift sanctions against Libya. First of all a prior aim was to coerce Libya to change behavior of financing terrorism or change of the existing government.


Hufbauer, G., Schott, J., Elliot, K. & Oegg, B. (2009). Economic Sanctions Reconsidered. Washington D.C.: Peterson Institute for International Economics.

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