What's the reasoning behind “rogue states” not responding to sanctions with military action? [closed]

The Politicus
Jun 05, 2022 11:55 PM 0 Answers
Member Since Sep 2018
Subscribed Subscribe Not subscribe


I know how insane this would be if it actually happened, but it just dawned on me that countries with far smaller economies than those who impose sanctions on them (as we see in the real world) do not respond to sanctions with armed conflict.

If nuclear weapons are a deterrent to nuclear warfare (MAD), then why can't sanctioned states with coasts on important trade routes use medium-long range weaponry (that many posses) as a deterrent to sanctions? The logic being it would take far fewer bombs and manpower to destabilise a global power's trade routes than it would take for that global power to beat them in an all out war.


Lets say there are 2 countries:

  • The Republic of A
  • The Republic of B

And that the following things are true:

  • The Republic of A is a global power able to impose harsh sanctions on any country
  • The Republic of B has a coast on a very important water way
  • The Republic of B has a military able to pose a credible threat to the Republic of A
  • The leaders of the Republic of A are willing to do everything short of wage direct war against the Republic of B

Now, if the Republic of A imposes "crippling sanctions" on the Republic of B, but the Republic of B doesn't have the financial means to respond with a similar set of sanctions that "hurt" as much as the ones the Republic of A has imposed, why doesn't the Republic of B respond by using weapons (E.G. Ground to Sea) to "cripple" the trade routes of the Republic of A from their coast?

We see this scenario in a lot of different countries, a country with an army possessing medium - long range weaponry being sanctioned by a much larger country that doesn't want all out war, but despite their economy taking a hit they seemingly sit there and accept it or at most wage proxy wars in already devastated countries (E.G. Iran vs. Saudi/US coalition).

Why don't countries retaliate to sanctions with military action if they can't retaliate with sanctions? What's the reasoning behind this?

0 Subscribers
Submit Answer
Please login to submit answer.
0 Answers
Sort By:

  • June 5, 2022