Yes... and here is where.
- Colonel Paul YinglingNobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.
Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.
All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
Are you coming to bed?
I can't. This is important.
Someone is WRONG on the internet! -XKCD
Sometimes. There is also sometimes a lack of effectiveness due to weak enforcement or other powers taking advantage of the situation and work with the state that is sanctioned.
"No religion is true, but some religion, any religion, is politically necessary. Law and morality are insufficient for the large majority of men. Obedience to the law and to the morals are insufficient for making men happy. […]Law and morality are therefore in need of being supplemented by divine rewards and punishments."
Sanctions only work against nations that care about their economies. You aren't likely to make a power-mad dictator change their behavior simply by starving a few more of their people. However, the threat of sanctions is quite effective against more reasonable people.