As the world watches in horror Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, issues around the effectiveness of sanctions, the impact on the US, and the question of Russian retaliation are critical to consider.

Michael Rogers is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management, and previous Director of the National Security Agency in Washington, who specializes in international cyber security policy and technology. He addresses these issues: 

  • To this point, the US has used an economic tool (sanctions) as the primary response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine;  Russia has no ability to impose economic restrictions on the US in return, so they likely will respond with information manipulation and cyber attacks in US, Europe, Australia, etc.; Putin will view cyber attacks as one of few tools in his arsenal to increase pressure on political decision-makers;  Russia has shown willingness to distort and force political action – I think you’ll see that again. Moscow doesn’t have a lot of options to impact the West, other than energy, cyber information, etc. 
  • Sanctions against Russia will have a domestic impact as well as impacts in other key, sanctioning nations, and Americans can expect this to play out for weeks and months to come;
  • US political leaders will need to explain why these impacts are occurring and what is being done to minimize negative effects; but as Americans and as citizens of the broader global community, we should take pride in the fact that we have so many nations willing to stand together against Putin’s behavior. The world is not discussing gains or losses now; nations and their leadership  understand that the actions of Russia are unethical and unacceptable and we are prepared to endure a measure of pain to see it correct itself.

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