of such sanctions were widely covered by the international media and as a result of this coverage, debates have been taking place about the utility and effective use of economic sanctions. When diplomacy has failed and states have entrenched positions about the stand that they have taken, then sanctions can be considered as being a logical outcome of any strong differences, short of an all-out war. However, sanctions have been observed as being rather ineffective in changing the policies of those who have been sanctioned, and those who suffer most are the innocent civilians, as the ruling elites strengthen their control on precious resources. Calls have been made to develop smart sanctions which will have a smaller impact on civilians, but the debate about the use of sanctions in the conduct of international statecraft continues. It is possible for states to use sanctions as a tool for coercion against weaker nations, although in an era of globalization and global institutions, it is less likely that any unilateral sanctions will not be taken into consideration by other nations of the globe. This brief essay presents a discussion about whether sanctions are a humane alternative to war or simply another tool for coercion in statecraft.When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in August 1990, the United Nations, which was led by the United States of America, imposed comprehensive economic sanctions on Iraq, including a ban on all financial transactions with the country, a ban on the purchase of Iraqi oil, suspension of all flights to Iraq, the freezing of Iraqi assets overseas and an arms embargo (Bengtsson, 2002, Pp. 1 -6). These sanctions were designed to punish and contain the Saddam Hussein led government of Iraq for its invasion of Kuwait and its threatening stance against other countries in the region. Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, had a demonstrated stance of military aggression against other countries for trivial reasons which had resulted in the loss of numerous human lives and the country had not desisted from the use of weapons of mass destruction.