Biden Doesn’t Know What He Thinks About Sanctions
Paul Massaro and Benjamin L. Schmitt in Foreign Policy consider the United States' failure to pose sanctions against corrupt global actors, notably Russia after it's latest escalation of its invasion in Eastern Ukraine in light of its commitments to anti-corruption that were released in the lead-up to the Summit. The authors praise the United States Strategy on Countering Corruption for its innovation and ambition. The strategy places an important focus on corruption as a major detriment to global democracy, with aggressive proposals to counter illicit finance, which has long taken advantage of the lax financial regulations in the United States. However, the strategy did not lead to decisive sanctions against illicit actors, signalling to non-democracies that the West lacks an effective strategy for countering corruption, and creates the potential for further erosion of public trust. Moreover, the trend of former senior Western officials becoming employed by Russian state owned enterprises is also left unaddressed.
The authors urge the United States to continue to pursue decisive anti-corruption measures, as it will directly impact upon the corruption which is foundational to autocratic rule. This effort will require the complete removal of oligarchic money from American finance-- crucial will be the political will to sanction powerful foreign elites and attention to the powerful transnational networks which enable global corruption.