January 10, 2018 | House Foreign Affairs Committee

Sanctions and Financial Pressure: Major National Security Tools

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Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Engel, and distinguished members of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, I am honored to be with you today to discuss the role of sanctions and financial pressure in our national security. I want to thank Chairman Royce for his leadership of this Committee and years of diligent work on the Hill and in the foreign policy community. I am grateful for the sober work we did together on issues of national security. Your voice of reason, seriousness of purpose, and compassionate and strong vision for America’s place in the world will be missed in Southern California, Congress, and in Washington.

I have been privileged to serve in the U.S. government – at the U.S. Justice Department, the Treasury Department, and at the National Security Council – spending much of my time developing the tools, strategies, and institutions of economic statecraft since September 11th. Among other developments in this period, the establishment of the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI) at the U.S. Treasury signaled the U.S. government’s recognition of the importance of Treasury’s tools and suasion, financial intelligence, and financial pressure campaigns in our national security architecture.

Since leaving government in 2009, I have continued to work with think tanks, in academia, and in the consulting worlds to develop the understanding, strategies, and capacity in this space. The publication of my book, “Treasury’s War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare,” in 2013, was my attempt to explain the evolution and importance of financial and economic tools in our national security – and the critical nature of these issues for the international community in the years to come. Our founding of the Financial Integrity Network (FIN) almost four years ago signaled a desire to help clients meet heightened global expectations of financial integrity, to build the capacity and design new models to address the complexities of this environment, and to make the tools that protect the international financial system more effective. The establishment of the Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF) at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) in November 2014, represented our commitment to create a think tank dedicated to developing the doctrines and strategies of national economic security, especially in the face of new challenges to U.S. power.

This background and ongoing work has afforded me insights and learning that I hope will be helpful to this Committee and Congress. Thank you again for the invitation to testify.

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