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April 2010: Genocide and US National Interests

Introduction to the Month's Focal Piece Editor's introduction: Genocide and US National Interests

Article under review: “How Genocide Became a National Security Threat” by Michael Abramowitz & Lawrence Woocher. Foreign Policy. February 26, 2010.

~ The Editors

David AkersonDo Drones Have a Silver Lining?
by David Akerson

"So, while it is a positive development that President Obama has placed mass atrocity on the US national security threat list, he remains saddled with a legislative branch that would obstruct any efforts to use military force in a pure humanitarian intervention. Drones might be the answer."

Sonia CardenasGenocide Myopia: How Reframing Mass Atrocity Could Backfire
by Sonia Cardenas

"Redefining genocide and mass atrocity along national security lines is understandable, but the approach must be fine-tuned to avoid blowback(…) The Obama administration, however, must push for a more fully comprehensive and multilateral approach to genocide and mass atrocity, elevating the role of development and diplomacy."

Todd LandmanA Break from the Old Routine....
by Todd Landman

"The new thinking is a major step in the right direction and Obama can and should show leadership on this issue (as he has done on healthcare reform). However, long-term solutions rest on developing and funding multilateral institutions, increasing aid contributions to those areas of the world most in need and most at risk of genocide, and linking humanitarian arguments with vital national interests of the countries that have the power and capacity to prevent the worst forms of mass atrocity."


James PattisonOn Genocide and the National Interest
by James Pattison

“The international community has a duty to prevent, to halt, and to tackle genocide. Indeed, of all the duties that states have, this is one of the least controversial. Here then is the worry: linking this duty to the national interest may help to reinforce the Realist view that states should be concerned solely with the promotion of their national interests. Although this view may sometimes come to dominate states’ foreign policies, it is nevertheless important to challenge it. States have moral duties to those beyond their borders, even when these do not coincide with the national interest."

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