Signifying Nothing: Why Terrorist Blacklists Don’t Work

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In July, the EU caved to pressure from the U.S. and Israel and added Hezbollah’s “military wing” to its blacklist of terrorist entities subject to financial sanctions. The U.S. and Israel applauded the move; Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah shrugged it off as meaningless. Nasrallah is right: It is meaningless. The first reason it’s meaningless, as noted elsewhere, is that Hezbollah is a fully integrated political and military organization, and there is no real way to enforce sanctions against the “military wing” by itself. The second and more important reason is that, as a policy tool, terrorist blacklists in general are […]

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