Report: Expand U.S. anti-genocide role

Dec. 9, 2008 at 11:24 AM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- A genocide prevention task force suggested the United States take a greater role globally to prevent the type of slaughter seen in Darfur and the Congo.

In unveiling their report Monday, task force leaders Madeleine Albright and William Cohen said they expect a favorable response from President-elect Barack Obama's administration on giving genocide high priority, The Christian Science Monitor reported Tuesday.

The report released Monday focuses on the role of the United States in preventing genocide and the need for policy changes to fit that mission into a global response. Among other things, the report concluded early warnings, preventive diplomacy and coordinated international action must balance a U.S. leadership role.

Obama "has made very clear he is concerned about Darfur and Congo ... and various places where we are seeing genocide take place or mass atrocities potentially" taking place, said Albright, secretary of state under former President Bill Clinton. "There is a broad range of options between standing aside and ordering in the Marines."

Susan Rice, Obama's nominee to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, experienced the Rwanda genocide of the 1990s when she was a chief Africa diplomat under the Clinton administration. Since then, she has advocated a tough response -- including military intervention if necessary -- to prevent mass killings of unprotected populations.

Cohen, who was Clinton's Defense secretary, cited intervention experience of Obama appointees Robert Gates, who will remain as Defense chief, and retired Gen. Jim Jones, tapped to be Obama's national security adviser.

"We'll find a very responsive administration," Cohen said.

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