Dissent Of The Day

Andrew Sullivan —  Aug 12 2011 @ 5:44pm

A reader writes:

If you actually read the documents underlying the strategic framework for the Atrocities Prevention Board, military options represent a marginal component of the administration's genocide and mass atrocities prevention strategy. As Ulfelder notes, the purpose of the Board, and its subsequent strategy, is the creation of civilian tools, resources, and policy structures that mitigate the prospects for mass violence against civilians.

Gventer cherry-picks from the Genocide Prevention Task Force report, as well as the Obama administration's statements surrounding genocide and mass atrocities prevention policy, to misconstrue policy framework's functions. As the administration's fact sheet notes, "The President rejects the idea that, in the face of mass atrocity, our options are “limited to either sending in the military or standing by and doing nothing." The civilian tools and structures emphasized in the Board's strategic approach – early warning systems in the intelligence community, rapid response mechanisms in the development and diplomacy communities, and high-level policy coordination within the administration – are specifically geared toward preventing the political foundations for civilian protection and conflict prevention.

The Board's creation represents a smarter use of US foreign policy leverage and resources, rather than "liberal utopianism," as you put it.