The lessons from a new era of economic warfare!
Six months ago Russia invaded Ukraine. On the battlefield a war of attrition is taking place along a thousand-kilometre front line of death and destruction.
Beyond it another struggle is raging—an economic conflict of a ferocity and scope not seen since the 1940s, as Western countries try to cripple Russia’s $1.8trn economy with a novel arsenal of sanctions.
The effectiveness of this embargo is key to the outcome of the Ukraine war.
But it also reveals a great deal about liberal democracies’ capacity to project power globally into the late 2020s and beyond, including against China.
Worryingly, so far the sanctions war is not going as well as expected.
Since February America, Europe and their allies have unleashed an unprecedented barrage of prohibitions covering thousands of Russian firms and individuals.
Half of Russia’s $580bn of currency reserves lies frozen and most of its big banks are cut off from the global payments system.
America no longer buys Russian oil, and a European embargo will come fully into effect in February. Russian firms are barred from buying inputs from engines to chips.
Oligarchs and officials face travel bans and asset freezes. America’s “KleptoCapture” task-force has seized a superyacht that may have had a Fabergé egg on board.