The road to war: economic sanctions Parallels: Italy 1935 – Russia/China 2023
Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia before World War II was the first serious opportunity to test the effectiveness of economic sanctions, the economic weapon of the then “international community” — the League of Nations. Specifically, how these sanctions worked in practice against a large state with an industrial base and a real army. Previously, sanctions had been applied only to weak states: Yugoslavia and Greece. The parallels between that situation and the current state of world affairs are amazing. Then, it concerned the balance in Europe and its surroundings: today, it concerns the balance of the entire global system. Then, it ended in a kinetic world war: today, we’ll see how it ends. For now, we have a fierce rivalry that some time ago I called a scalable world war, which stems from an imbalance of the international system. The parallels between the situation 85 years ago and now, which I will draw on in this and subsequent articles in our new series on sanctions, are very instructive.
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