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You may have heard that I and few million other people voted for this guy, Barack Obama, back in November. Well I once again joined a few million people to welcome in our new President, Barack Obama, today. I figured it was a few blocks away from my apartment and was going to be a great moment in U.S. history, so I gladly braved the 20-some degree temperatures and the crowds to watch our 44th President take the oath of office.

As I stood there for four hours, I had plenty of time to reflect on U.S. sanctions programs. It seems obvious that we have seen the continuing strengthening of sanctions over our last two presidents. But what will the Obama administration bring to the world of U.S. sanctions programs?

My gut feeling is that we will see a continuation of the stronger sanctions trend, if not a significant increase in sanctions use. In my opinion what we have seen over the past 8 years is the militarization of foreign policy. I believe that Obama will try to reverse course on that trend and the use of sanctioning to deal with the traditional foreign policy challenges presented by such countries as Iran and North Korea will factor in as a major weapon of his new diplomatic approach.

Either way it should be an interesting four years. I congratulate President Obama, and hope that he exercises wise judgment in carrying out the duties of office.

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