Genocide and National Security: What’s the Plan?

Yesterday the Obama Administration released its national security strategy, and Human Rights First reacted in a press release urging action on current policies that run counter to the goals laid out in this new strategy–including indefinite detention without trial and military trials at Guantanamo.

Another important, less talked about, element of this strategy was its reference to genocide prevention:

The United States is committed to working with our allies, and to strengthening
our own internal capabilities, in order to ensure that the United States and the
international community are proactively engaged in a strategic effort to prevent
mass atrocities and genocide. In the event that prevention fails, the United
States will work both multilaterally and bilaterally to mobilize diplomatic,
humanitarian, financial, and-in certain instances-military means to prevent and
respond to genocide and mass atrocities.

We await further details from the administration as to how it plans to address these urgent issues–including by focusing on those who enable genocide and mass atrocities by providing resources, goods, services, or other practical support to the perpetrators of violence. Such support is a critical ingredient in the commission of atrocities and should be addressed as an integral part of U.S. strategies to prevent and mitigate the world’s worst crimes. Read more about the problem of enablers and how the U.S. and other countries can tackle this aspect of mass atrocities.


Published on May 28, 2010


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