Preventing Genocide: A Blueprint for U.S. Policymakers
To the President
1-1. The president should demonstrate that preventing genocide and mass atrocities is a national priority.
1-2. Under presidential leadership, the administration should develop and promulgate a government-wide policy on preventing genocide and mass atrocities.
1-3. The president should create a standing interagency mechanism for analysis of threats of genocide and mass atrocities and consideration of appropriate preventive action.
1-4. The president should launch a major diplomatic initiative to strengthen global efforts to prevent genocide and mass atrocities.
To the Leaders of Congress
1-5. Congress should increase funding for crisis prevention and response initiatives, and should make a portion of these funds available for rapid allocation for urgent activities to prevent or halt emerging genocidal crises.
1-6. The newly established Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission should make preventing genocide and mass atrocities a central focus of its work.
1-7. Congressional leaders should request that the director of national intelligence include risk of genocide and mass atrocities in his or her annual testimony to Congress on threats to U.S. national security.
To the American People
1-8. The American people should build a permanent constituency for the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities.
Early Warning: Assessing Risks and Triggering Action
2-1. The director of national intelligence should initiate the preparation of a National Intelligence Estimate on worldwide risks of genocide and mass atrocities.
2-2. The national security advisor and the director of national intelligence should establish genocide early warning as a formal priority for the intelligence community as a means to improve reporting and assessments on the potential for genocide and mass atrocities.
2-3. The State Department and the intelligence community should incorporate training on early warning of genocide and mass atrocities into programs for foreign service and intelligence officers and analysts.
2-4. The national security advisor should create a "mass atrocities alert channel" for reporting on acute warning of genocide or mass atrocities akin to the State Department's "dissent channel."
2-5. The national security advisor should make warning of genocide or mass atrocities an "automatic trigger" of policy review.
2-6. The State Department and USAID should expand ongoing cooperation with other governments, the United Nations, regional organizations, NGOs, and other civil society actors on early warning of genocide and mass atrocities.
Early Prevention: Engaging before the Crisis
3-1. Early prevention strategies should aim to influence leaders by using positive and negative inducements, aggressive enforcement of international regimes, and fresh approaches to conflict transformation.
3-2. Early prevention strategies should support development of institutions in high-risk states by supporting power sharing and democratic transition, enhancing the rule of law and addressing impunity, and reforming security forces.
3-3. Early prevention strategies should aim to strengthen civil society in high-risk states by supporting economic and legal empowerment, citizen groups, and a free and responsible media.
3-4. Funding for crisis prevention in countries at risk of genocide or mass atrocities should be expanded through a new genocide prevention initiative, funded through existing foreign assistance mechanisms.
3-5. The State Department and USAID should enhance coordination with international partners both in terms of policy and in-country implementation.
Preventive Diplomacy: Halting and Reversing Escalation
4-1. The new high-level interagency committee-the Atrocities Prevention Committee-should meet every other month (and as needed at other times) to review the status of countries of concern and coordinate preventive action.
4-2. The Atrocities Prevention Committee, working with NSC staff, should prepare interagency genocide prevention and response plans for high-risk situations.
4-3. The secretary of state should enhance the capacity of the U.S. government to engage in urgent preventive diplomatic action to forestall emerging crises.
4-4. Preventive diplomacy strategies should include the credible threat of coercive measures, should avoid an overly rigid "escalatory ladder," and should not dismiss potential benefits of rewarding "bad people" for "good behavior."
4-5. Preventive diplomacy strategies should engage international actors who have influence with potential perpetrators, be mindful of becoming hostage to peace negotiations related to a broader conflict, and maintain consistency in messages conveyed.
Employing Military Options
5-1. The secretary of defense and U.S. military leaders should develop military guidance on genocide prevention and response and incorporate it into Department of Defense (and interagency) policies, plans, doctrine, training, and lessons learned.
5-2. The director of national intelligence and the secretary of defense should leverage military capacities for intelligence and early warning and strengthen links to political-military planning and decision making.
5-3. The Departments of Defense and State should work to enhance the capacity of the United Nations, as well as the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, and other regional and subregional bodies to employ military options to prevent and halt genocide and mass atrocities.
5-4. The Departments of Defense and State should work with NATO, the European Union, and capable individual governments to increase preparedness to reinforce or replace United Nations, African Union, or other peace operations to forestall mass atrocities.
5-5. The Departments of Defense and State should enhance the capacity of the United States and the United Nations to support a transition to long-term efforts to build peace and stability in the wake of genocidal violence.
International Action: Strengthening Norms and Institutions
6-1. The secretary of state should launch a major diplomatic initiative to create among like-minded governments, international organizations, and NGOs a formal network dedicated to the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities.
6-2. The secretary of state should undertake robust diplomatic efforts toward negotiating an agreement among the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council on non-use of the veto in cases concerning genocide or mass atrocities.
6-3. The State Department should support the efforts currently under way to elevate the priority of preventing genocide and mass atrocities at the United Nations.
6-4. The State Department, USAID, and Department of Defense should provide capacity-building assistance to international partners who are willing to take measures to prevent genocide and mass atrocities.
6-5. The secretary of state should reaffirm U.S. commitment to nonimpunity for perpetrators of genocide and mass atrocities.