What OCCAM is up against
A Conceptual Dependency representation of this incident is illustrated in Figure 2-18. What lesson should be learned from Economic-Sanction-1? That economic sanctions never achieve their desired goal? This conclusion would be overly general. That economic sanctions never work against countries that export wine? This conclusion would be wrong. That economic sanctions won’t work when Australia refuses to sell any country a commodity that is sold by South Africa. This is close to being true, but is probably too specific to apply to many future cases. The problem here is to identify which features of Australia,
South Africa, France, and uranium as well as the features of the demand (to stop nuclear testing in the South Pacific) and the threat (to not sell uranium) were necessary to explain why Australia did not achieve its goal. A reasonable generalization to make from Economic-Sanction-1 is that if a country tries to threaten a country with a strong economy by refusing to sell a commodity, then the threatened country will buy the product elsewhere. Figure 2-2 illustrates this generalization.