Friday, February 25, 2022

Everybody's An Expert

I am not, of course, but I am smart enough to know I am dumb about these things. I don't know the costs of all possible sanctions on either other countries or on Russian citizens. I don't know if removing Russia from SWIFT really removes them from the banking system (people I trust say no, not really) or what the broader consequences of removing them from the banking system are. Good to cut Russia off from gas cash, not so good to cut people of from gas in February.

"We've" used sanctions against various countries with pretty catastrophic results without achieving the outcomes we desired. Easy to push the "sanctions" button and ignore the consequences when it's Iran for various not so nice reasons.

Again, I have no idea, and don't claim to, but maximum belligerence, even of the non-military kind, always sounds appealing but the costs and consequences are not obvious and not necessarily helpful!

Obligatory bad faith reading repellent: I am all for maximum belligerence against the Putin regime! Just, you know, it's complicated! Political pressure on Biden is going to come from all directions and the answers are not simple (I do not have them).