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Latest Issue of "Foreign Affairs" Has Two Essays on Sanctions

The May/June 1999 issue of "Foreign Affairs" contains two lengthy essays on
the sanctions in Iraq (thanks to Khaled Elgindy for the tip -- abstracts
below).  The most memorable observation (p. 51) is that these "economic
sanctions may well ... (have) caused the the deaths of more people in Iraq
than have been slain by all so-called weapons of mass destruction throughout
history."   The comparison figure includes all victims of gas attacks during
World War I (and since), plus all victims of the blasts at Hiroshima and

"Foreign Affairs" ( is a prestigious academic journal
with a surprisingly large mass-market distribution.

Abstracts follow:

SANCTIONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION                           
by John Mueller and Karl Mueller

As Cold War threats have diminished, so-called weapons of mass destruction
-- nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and ballistic missiles -- have
become the new international bugbears. The irony is that the harm caused by
these weapons pales in comparison to the havoc wreaked by a much more
popular tool: economic sanctions. Tally up the casualties caused by rogue
states, terrorists, and unconventional weapons, and the number is
surprisingly small. The same cannot be said for deaths inflicted by
international sanctions. The math is sobering and should lead the United
States to reconsider its current policy of strangling Iraq. 

GETTING IT BACKWARD ON IRAQ                                             
by F. Gregory Gause III

The Clinton administration supports crippling economic sanctions that punish
the Iraqi people but seems ready to live with the demise of international
inspections to monitor Saddam Hussein's nuclear, chemical, and biological
weapons programs. Washington has it exactly backward. It should offer
Baghdad a blunt trade: lightened sanctions in return for renewed, intrusive
arms inspections. The sweeping sanctions regime does nothing to advance U.S.
interests, undermine Saddam, or contain Iraq. Leaving Saddam's arsenal
unwatched is folly. Better to have arms inspections without sanctions than
sanctions without arms inspections. 

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