Pres. Trump is using sanctions as a very effective tool in bringing other nations we’re involved with into line and getting a lot of complaints from them in the process. The latest griper is Vlad Putin, who said that it’s ridiculous for us to be asking for their help with North Korea when we put them on the same sanctions list as North Korea.

That’s actually pretty inaccurate and he knows it, our sanctions against N. Korea are for a totally different reason than our sanctions against some specific Russian businesses and banks. But that’s beside the point, as the real story here is that we have something that Russia and China don’t have in our sanction power.

Russia has nothing that we have to have. But if we cut off all trade with Russia, that would do a lot of harm to their economy. We’re already doing them harm as it is with the sanctions that exist now.

Sanctions threats against China are scaring the Chinese as well. We can target many specific entities, primarily banks and oil companies, and really clobber the Chinese economy. Of course they can and will retaliate against us by turning back a lot of our exports, but we can absorb that. The Chinese can probably absorb our sanctions too, but at the cost of stopping their outward expansionism, which is actually our primary goal. They’re using N. Korea the same way they’re using those artificial island they’ve militarized, for the same purpose.

Any nation that the United States stops trading with, is going to suffer very badly for it, far more so than we will, and it makes much more sense to conduct an Economic World War than a military one. With a savvy business leader like President Trump conducting it, we stand an excellent chance of winning.

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