Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sudan -- Somehow it's Our Problem

Former envoy to Sudan, Andrew S. Natsios, has an article in today's Washington Post called, "Obama, Adrift on Sudan." Natsios argues that the U.S. needs to be more involved with Sudan, and that referring to atrocities in Darfur as "genocide" is not an "accurate term." He makes te case that the genocidal actions occurred in the past, whereas today the situation is chaotic and a merely a "low-level insurgency."In his view,
The United States ought to be in a commanding position to mediate in these negotiations, as it did in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended 22 years of civil war between Sudan's North and South. But disputes within the Obama administration are inhibiting U.S. efforts to stop Sudan's slide toward civil war at a time when unified American leadership is essential.
The problem with this sort of thinking is that it ignores U.S. interests. What U.S. advantage is gained by meddling in what is, to all appearances, an intractable situation? What vital U.S. interests are at stake in Sudan? If there are any, Natsios doesn't bother to point them out. He simply assumes that U.S. "leadership" in trying to solve Sudan's many problems would be a good thing.

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