The US’ “Sanctions Diplomacy” With Sudan Is Part Of A Hybrid War Pivot

The US’ “Sanctions Diplomacy” With Sudan Is Part Of A Hybrid War Pivot

Grigoriy Trofimchuk Grigoriy Trofimchuk

The US has decided to lift its financial and technological sanctions against Sudan while retaining the military ones promulgated on the politicized basis that it’s a "state sponsor of terrorism”.

 The new US policy is a pivot of sorts which is based on so-called "sanctions diplomacy”, Hybrid Wars, and geostrategy. To begin with the first one, the US always implements sanctions as a form of coercive punishment, hoping that the socio-economic damage that they inflict on the civilian population could inspire the people to become more receptive to Color Revolution manipulations and that this, or the fear thereof, could in turn pressure the government into changing the key elements of its domestic and/or foreign policy that the US was originally opposed to. The lifting of sanctions can also be weaponized too, particularly in terms of how it could inspire unrealistically high and false expectations among the population that could then be exploited to foster more anti-government unrest in the future. Moreover, the post-sanctions environment could create a situation where the target country ironically becomes more strategically dependent on the US after American companies fill the void that their government had artificially created, thereby turning this short-term "reward” into a long-term ”punishment”. 

 As for the Hybrid War motivations guiding this policy shift, the US needs to replace the international fighters that Saudi Arabia used to provide for its asymmetrical wars in the global Muslim community, or "Ummah”. Riyadh is rebalancing its priorities in light of recent events, particularly Russia’s newfound leadership role in the Mideast, and the Saudis are less likely to contribute to forthcoming American-driven conflicts to the degree that they once did, if even at all, which means that the US must compensate with scouting recruits elsewhere, ergo the significance of entering into a rapprochement with a very religious but deeply impoverished country such as Sudan. The Sudanese are, to be frank, much more "desperate” than many other people due to their decades-long situation of relative isolation, hence why the US believes that it could be easier to exploit them to participate in Hybrid Wars, especially in a more cost-effective manner than other populations might require. If this succeeds, then Sudan would have transitioned from the Iranian sphere of influence, to the Saudi one, and now the American one in the course of just a couple of years. 

 Concerning the last reason for the US pivot towards Sudan, one need only look at the map to see the Northeast African country’s overall geostrategic significance, especially in terms of its location between rising African Great Powers Egypt and Ethiopia. That’s not all, though, since Sudan is an irreplaceable transit state for the northern transcontinental corridor of the African Silk Road, one which I’ve previously termed the Sahelian-Saharan Silk Road as a neologism to describe the combination of African Trans-Continental Highways 5 and 6. Although this is in principle supposed to connect the Senegalese capital of Dakar with the Red Sea city-state of Djibouti, the route could be modified to terminate in the coastal city of Port Sudan on the Red Sea. This is primarily important in this context because it provides the quickest route for connecting the West African state of Nigeria, which is the largest in the continent, with its Asian economic partners via this proposed overland corridor that has already seen some level of Chinese interest and mild investment. 

 Syncretizing these three strategic imperatives together, it becomes evident that the US’ partial pivot towards Sudan is due to Hybrid War and geostrategic reasons, both of which are being furthered by "sanctions diplomacy”. 

Andrew Korybko

 DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution. 

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