2015 – US National Security Strategy

On the release of the 2015 US National Security Strategy document, economic sanctions increase their role — and military “over-reach” is addressed with the limitations of use of force and risks and costs to the US and global security of escalating war and weapons proliferation



From the National Security Strategy:


  • We must always resist the over-reach that comes when we make decisions based upon fear. Moreover, we must recognize that a smart national security strategy does not rely solely on military power.
  • The challenges we face require strategic patience and persistence.
  • Therefore, I will continue to pursue a comprehensive agenda that draws on all elements of our national
    strength, that is attuned to the strategic risks and opportunities we face, and that is guided by the principles and priorities set out in this strategy.


  • Targeted economic sanctions will remain an effective tool for imposing costs on irresponsible actors…


  • In the realm of inter-state conflict, Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity—as well as its belligerent stance toward other neighboring countries—endangers international norms that have largely been taken for granted since the end of the Cold War.
  • No threat poses as grave a danger to our security and well-being as the potential use of nuclear weapons and materials by irresponsible states or terrorists…
  • For our part, we are reducing the role and number of nuclear weapons through New START and our own strategy. We will continue to push for the entry into force of important multilateral agreements like the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty and the various regional nuclear weapons-free zone protocols, as well as the creation of a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty.
  • We will lead by example in fulfilling our responsibilities within this architecture, demonstrating to the world it is possible to protect security consistent with robust values. We will work vigorously both within the U.N. and other multilateral institutions, and with member states, to strengthen and modernize capacities—from
    peacekeeping to humanitarian relief—so they endure to provide protection, stability, and support for
    future generations.
  • At the same time, we will exact an appropriate cost on transgressors. Targeted economic sanctions remain an effective tool for imposing costs on those irresponsible actors whose military aggression, illicit proliferation, or unprovoked violence threaten both international rules and norms and the peace they were designed to preserve. We will pursue multilateral sanctions, including through the U.N., whenever possible, but will act alone, if necessary. Our sanctions will continue to be carefully designed and tailored to achieve clear aims while minimizing any unintended consequences for other economic actors, the global economy, and civilian populations.
  • In many cases, our use of targeted sanctions and other coercive measures are meant not only to uphold
    international norms, but to deter severe threats to stability and order at the regional level. We are not allowing the transgressors to define our regional strategies on the basis of the immediate threats they present. Rather, we are advancing a longer-term affirmative agenda in each of the regions, which prioritizes reinvigorating alliances with long-standing friends, making investments in new partnerships with emerging democratic powers with whom our interests are increasingly aligned, and continuing to support the development of capable, inclusive regional institutions to help enforce common international rules.




World News

February 9, 2015

Via Russia Today, EU widens sanctions against Moscow and Ukraine rebels, implementation delayed

Via Deutsche Welle, EU delays further sanctions against Russia

Via Wall Street Journal, EU Foreign Ministers delay Russia sanctions


US State Department — Ukraine and Russia sanctions

Via AFP, Russia sanctions have cost EU 21 bn euros


Via NY Times, Obama, Meeting With Merkel on Ukraine Crisis, Keeps Military Aid Option Open