Panel II of a Hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: "Stopping Genocide in Darfur"
SEN. BIDEN: Our next witnesses will come as a panel, please. The Honorable Susan E. Rice, senior fellow of the Global Economy and Development Program at the Brookings Institution. It's good to see Susan again; I worked with her in another incarnation. And the Honorable Lawrence G. -- is it Rossin? -- Rossin, senior international coordinator of Save Darfur Coalition. I thank you both for being here and -- (off mike) -- I'm sorry. It's not -- where's my list here? (Chuckles.) I'm about to leave off the third witness. I lost the -- where are we, here? Sorry. I beg your pardon, Doctor. Dr. J. Stephen Morrison, director of the Africa Program, Center for Strategic International Studies, Washington, D.C. I thank you all. I apologize, Doctor. I couldn't find my second page here.
If the witnesses will make their statements in the order in which they're called, we'd appreciate it.
MS. RICE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It's a pleasure to be back before this committee. And I want to begin by thanking you and your colleagues for the opportunity to testify but also, more importantly for your leadership, on a bipartisan and bicameral basis, to call attention to the genocide in Darfur and to make your leadership felt in the effort to try to end this.
I would like to submit my entire testimony for the record and summarize it here.
SEN. BIDEN: Without objection -- (off mike).
MS. RICE: In spite of repeated threats -- the so-called "Plan B" -- the government of Sudan, as you pointed out and as your colleagues pointed out, continues to kill with impunity. Khartoum still has not accepted U.N. troops as part of a hybrid force. The sad truth is the United States continues to be taunted and our conditions continue to be flaunted by the Sudanese government. Plan B is long past its sell- by date, and it's getting staler by the day.
Why do you suppose, as you asked, that the administration is equivocating, it is temporizing? Why would it yet again issue threats to the Sudanese regime and then fail to follow through on them? Well, I think we got a clue here this morning. I think there's real equivocation inside the administration as to whether or not we are witnessing a continuing genocide. It took nearly two hours for Mr. Natsios to acknowledge, under pressure, that in fact genocide continues to occur in Darfur. If you go back and look at the president's State of the Union address, when he mentioned Darfur, the word "genocide" was conspicuously absent.
A related explanation is that the administration views what's going on in Darfur primarily as another civil conflict in Africa and one that requires principally a political solution. As you pointed out, it's obvious that there are rebel groups operating in Darfur, that these groups have attacked civilians and peacekeepers, and that the splintering and disunity among these groups hampers political negotiations. It's also obvious that a long-term solution in Darfur will require political accommodation and reconciliation.
But negotiations cannot end a genocide. Genocide is not a mere counter-insurgency tactic. Genocide results from the conscious decision of one party to a conflict to seek to eliminate, in whole or part, another group. This is the choice that the Sudanese government has made in the context of Darfur. And there are only two ways to end a genocide, either to apply powerful enough pressures or incentives to persuade the perpetrators of genocide to stop -- which we have not done -- or to protect those who are the potential victims of genocide, physically protect them. A negotiated solution would do neither, though it's necessary ultimately to resolve the underlying conflict.
Another explanation is that the administration simply does not have a coherent Darfur policy. In fact, the U.S. approach to the genocide in Darfur can be characterized as simultaneously anemic and constipated. The coming and going of deadlines, the shifting of personnel assignments, are all indicative of the fact that we have no comprehensive strategy for stopping the killing. This week, Deputy Secretary Negroponte is traveling to Khartoum and Libya and Chad to take yet another stab at negotiations with the Sudanese junta. Undoubtedly, Ambassador Negroponte will discover what Secretary Rice and Bob Zoellick and Jendayi Frasier and Andrew Natsios and Kofi Annan and Governor Richardson have all discovered before him -- Khartoum's word means little or nothing. The Sudanese government cannot be trusted to keep its promises, nor to take concrete action to stop the killing.
And yet while U.S. officials re-learn old lessons, Khartoum is using diplomacy as a foil to continue the genocide. One has to wonder how the administration can explain to the dead, the nearly dead, and the soon-to-be-dead people of Darfur that at the end of the day, even after we declare that genocide is occurring, even after we repeatedly insist that we're committed to stopping it, the United States continues to stand by while the killing persists. This genocide has endured not for 100 days, not for 1,000 days, but for four long years. And as has been pointed out, it's destabilizing Chad and the Central African Republic; the whole region is being enveloped.
What we are witnessing, Mr. Chairman, is in fact part of a three-year pattern. The administration talks tough and then does little more than provide generous humanitarian assistance. It blusters and then, in the face of Sudanese intransigence or empty promises, the administration retreats. Last August, the U.S. got U.N. authorization for a robust Chapter 7 force -- 22,000 peacekeepers with a mandate to protect civilians. In September, the president appointed Mr. Natsios and promised tough consequences if Khartoum didn't accept the U.N. force mandated by the Security Council. But then in November, Mr. Natsios joined the United Nations, the African Union and European leaders in preemptively capitulating to Khartoum. To win Sudan's acquiescence, the U.S. and others jettisoned the robust U.N. force and embraced a fallback -- a smaller, weaker, African Union-U.N. hybrid force. And then in December, with us leading the way, the Security Council backed down and embraced the hybrid.
Let's be plain about what we have lost in the process. The hybrid would be 17,000 troops, as opposed to the 22,000 that the U.N. proposed. The mandate would come from the African Union, which Khartoum readily manipulates. It would draw its troops primarily from Africa, but overstretched by deployments to hot spots all over the continent, Africa has very little peacekeeping capacity to spare. The hybrid would have U.N. funding, but it would suffer from many of the same duel-key problems that plague the U.N. and NATO in the Balkans in the 1990s. Unfortunately, this hybrid is an ill-conceived, short- sighted and, in fact, failed expedient to appease yet again the perpetrators of genocide. This is, by any measure, a collective shame, and it's interesting that the American people know it. And Congress knows it. And by all accounts, nobody likes it. A December "Newsweek" poll, as well as a poll released last week by the Public Attitudes organization at the University of Maryland found that 65 percent of Americans -- 65 percent of Americans -- support sending U.S. troops as part of an international force to Darfur.
Mr. Chairman, the time for fruitless negotiations has long since passed. They're simply buying time for Khartoum to continue the killing. If the administration were serious about halting this four- year-old genocide and protecting civilians in Darfur, it would act now to show Khartoum that we're done talking and we're ready to turn the screws.
We should take four steps:
Step one, the president should issue an Executive Order now, implementing all of the financial measures in Plan B. The administration should couple these unilateral sanctions with a sustained push for tough U.N. sanctions, including those that target Sudan's oil sector. And we should dare China or any other permanent member of the Security Council to accept the blame for vetoing effective action to halt the genocide.
Step two, the Bush administration should state clearly that these financial penalties will not be lifted unless and until the Sudanese government permanently and verifiably stops all air and ground attacks and allows the full and unfettered deployment of the U.N. force authorized in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1706. It's time to tell Khartoum that it has a simple choice: accept the U.N. force as mandated in that resolution, or face escalating U.S. pressure.
Step three, this Congress should swiftly adopt new legislation on Darfur. That legislation should authorize the president to stop the genocide in Darfur, including by imposing a no-fly zone, bombing aircraft, airfields, and the regime's military and intelligence assets. It should authorize funds to upgrade the air field in Abeche, in Chad, with the agreement of the Chadian government, in order to support potential NATO air operations, facilitate a U.N. deployment to Chad and Darfur, and for humanitarian relief purposes. The legislation should urge the administration to press for the deployment of U.N. peacekeepers to Chad and Central African Republic and their borders. It should impose capital market sanctions on companies investing in Sudan. It should freeze Sudanese government assets and those of key military government and Janjuwid leaders and their families, and prohibit their travel to the U.S.
And the legislation, importantly, should require the administration to report, every 30 days, in classified and unclassified form, on the military, financial and covert steps it's prepared to take to compel the government of Sudan to accept unconditionally a robust force.
Step four -- if within 15 days of the issuance of the Plan B executive order the government of Sudan has failed to meet these basic conditions, the Bush administration should be prepared to use force. The purpose of the use of force would be to compel Khartoum to accept the robust U.N. force and stop killing civilians. What I wrote six months ago with Anthony Lake and Congressman Donald Payne in The Washington Post I'm afraid still applies today, many lives later. We said it's time again to get tough with Sudan. The U.S. should press for a Chapter 7 U.N. resolution that issues Sudan an ultimatum: accept the unconditional deployment of the U.N. force or face military consequences. The resolution would authorize enforcement by U.N. member states collectively or individually.
The U.S., preferably with NATO involvement and African political support, would strike Sudanese airfields, aircraft and other military assets. International military pressure would continue until Sudan relents, and then the U.N. force would deploy. If the U.S. fails to gain U.N. support, we should act without it, as we did in 1999, in the case of Kosovo, to confront a far lesser humanitarian crisis, when perhaps about 10,000 people had already died as opposed to the estimated 450,000 who've died in Darfur. So the real question -- the moral question is this. Will we use force to save Africans in Darfur as we did to save Europeans in Kosovo?
Now I know, Mr. Chairman, that this is a controversial proposal. There are many good reasons that people have offered to shy away from the use of force. Some argue that using force in the current political context is untenable, particularly against another Islamic government. Some will reject it even if the objective of the use of force is to save innocent Muslim lives. Others say we can't possibly take on another military mission -- we're overstretched. True, but what we're proposing would involve primarily the Air Force, which has relatively more capacity than other branches of our services.
Others say that without a -- without the consent of the U.N. or a relevant regional body, we'd be breaking international law. But recall that the Security Council last year codified a new international norm on the responsibility to protect, which committed member states to decisive action, including enforcement, when peaceful measures failed to halt genocide or crimes against humanity. Now, some advocates prefer the imposition of a no-fly zone, and I want to say that that is a very viable and legitimate option. Some seem to view it as a less aggressive option than bombing Sudanese assets. But let's be clear what a no-fly zone entails. Maintaining a no-fly zone would require an asset-intensive, 24-hour a day, seven-day-a-week open-ended military commitment in a logistically difficult context.
To protect the no-fly area, the aircap would have to disable or shoot down any aircraft that took off in the zone. It would mean shutting down Sudanese airfields in and near Darfur to all but humanitarian traffic. In short, it would require very soon many of the same steps that are necessary to conduct the air strikes we recommend, and then some. So while I think it's a fine option, I'm not sure it's a lesser option.
And finally, humanitarian organizations have expressed the concern that air strikes could disrupt humanitarian operations or cause the Sudanese government to intensify attacks on the ground against civilians and camps. Now, this is a very legitimate concern. But there are ways to mitigate these risks. The targets could be selected to avoid airfields used by humanitarian agencies in Darfur. To protect civilians at risk, the U.S. and other NATO countries could position a light quick reaction force in Chad to deter and respond to any increased attacks on camps in Darfur or Chad. And while the risks may be mitigated, we have to acknowledge that they can't be eliminated. Yet we also have to acknowledge the daily cost of the status quo of a feckless policy characterized by bluster and retreat. That cost has been, and will continue to be, thousands and thousands and thousands more lives each month, another thousands more as we wait for two to four more weeks for Ban Ki-Moon to exhaust his diplomacy. That is a cost -- the other cost is a regime -- the Khartoum regime that has literally gotten away with murder while the U.S. merely remonstrates.
I would submit, Mr. Chairman, Senator Lugar, that that cost is too high. Too many people have already died. Too many more are soon to die. It leaves one wondering when, if ever, the Bush administration will decide that enough is finally enough. Thank you.
SEN. BIDEN: Thank you very much. I'm embarrassed -- I forget who I -- excuse me. Next, if you would, Dr. Rossin.
MR. ROSSIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for having invited me to testify today, and I want to thank you and Senator Lugar and all the members of the committee, as did Susan, for your determined oversight on Darfur. With your permission I'll make brief oral remarks and I'll submit my longer statement for the record.
The Save Darfur Coalition groups over 180 faith-based human rights and community organizations from all over the United States -- from Indiana and everywhere. Together we have worked for nearly three years towards one overriding goal -- to end the genocide in Darfur. That commitment inspires my engagement, but I also speak today from professional experience as an American diplomat, a career ambassador with a career in conflict resolution in Grenada, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, and as a former deputy head of U.N. peacekeeping missions in Kosovo and in Haiti. Regrettably, while our coalition has made great strides in building awareness and mobilizing activism -- Susan just cited the polling evidence of that -- our effort has had very little effect on the ground where it counts for the people of Darfur. After four years, after 1,200 destroyed villages, after 400,000 people dead, after 2.5 million internally displaced, after 1.4 million out of the reach of humanitarian assistance, and another 200,000-plus driven into Chad as refugees, the regime in Khartoum continues to pursue a scorched earth campaign of death and displacement against the people of Darfur, and it enjoys near total impunity as it does that.
Today, President al-Bashir is more adamant than ever: U.N. peacekeepers will not ever set boots on the ground in Darfur, and I'm very, very skeptical of this heavy support package deal that Mr. Natsios described to us today. The U.N. agencies continue to raise the alarm about their shrinking ability to maintain the aid that sustains those hundreds of thousands of Darfurians that are living in misery. Hardly a day goes by now without a reiterated warning of looming humanitarian collapse, repeated defiance from President al- Bashir and his officials, a new report of atrocity, another Janjuwid incursion in Chad. Diplomacy alone patently has failed.
For four years a seemingly endless parade of envoys has visited Khartoum, each carrying a message rarely coordinated with others, many wielding threats, others wielding assurances of protection against those threats, some proffering rewards for good behavior. It's total incoherence and it's completely ineffective. The Sudanese regime has used these visits and differences to buy time for its genocide. Envoys have been played off against each other while their threats have gone unfulfilled. The regime has concluded it can act as it wishes and who of us can argue otherwise with the evidence at hand? Mr. Natsios really described today no substantive progress on any of the key issues that dog this issue. The past four years are a graveyard of failed persuasive diplomacy as much as they're a graveyard of 400,000 innocent Darfurians.
We were really hopeful, Mr. Chairman, Senator Lugar, when we learned from administration contacts several weeks ago now that the president had finally had it, and that some really tough new targeted sanctions -- this Plan B -- were actually coming. We were told it was just a matter of scheduling the announcement. We were encouraged when, after having been stiffed again by President al-Bashir a few weeks ago, Special Envoy Natsios told many of us in conference calls that these sanctions were imminent. We were even more pleased when we learned that one foreign ambassador had been told that the president had actually signed the documents.
Frankly, Mr. Chairman, we thought that today's hearing would be taking place in the context of just announced Plan B sanctions, and we would be discussing how to ensure their effective implementation. Everything we heard gave us cause to expect that, but not now. I just listened to Mr. Natsios' testimony, but I have to note that only last week, he was quoted in the press as publicly rejecting Secretary General Ban's call for more time for deferral of mandatory sanctions so that his diplomacy could have more time. I heard him talk about the (Codel ?) that went to Khartoum. I think what we're seeing here is that the U. S. government itself has decided for its own reasons to defer its own sanctions plan so that it itself can make yet another diplomatic try. We respect that effort, we don't question the sincerity of those undertaking it, but after years of Sudanese evasion and genocide, we have to say we are profoundly disappointed by this.
The people of Darfur need our strong support now. The stark mismatch between tough talk and weak action has to end now before more die and more are displaced. We are very skeptical that the limited Plan B sanctions that we've heard about would be enough to end the genocide, but at least they'd be something, and we'd like to see them announced now and we'd urge that this committee ride the administration hard to get going. Experience from the Balkans, from Iran and North Korea and even from Sudan itself on earlier issues before today teach us that diplomacy must be coupled with strong coercive measures, enough to change calculations so that ending a policy of mass murder in Darfur becomes cheaper for Khartoum than pursuing that policy. Otherwise, this tragedy, Mr. Chairman, will surely worsen.
Were we today discussing newly announced Plan B sanctions then I would be making the following points. Above all, the president -- the president of the United States -- President Bush himself -- would have to exercise strong personal leadership to ensure full and prompt sanctions enforcement by the bureaucracy. It won't happen with anything less.
Secondly, with regard to the unilateral U.S. sanctions, which we understand primarily would be aimed to choke off dollar-denominated transactions that benefit the government, that would mean several things. The president himself would have to direct the secretary of the Treasury to have the Office of Foreign Assets Control beef up its staff devoted to Sudan sanctions enforcement. There's hardly anybody doing it now. He would have to order the intelligence community actively to support the enforcement of those sanctions. There's no task force in the intelligence community on this now. He would have to instruct his cabinet to create and empower interagency task forces to monitor this enforcement, and he would have to appoint a Sudan sanctions enforcement chief -- one that had a very, very short communications chain to him personally -- to drive the interagency process because it won't work otherwise.
And, frankly, I must say, Mr. Chairman and Senator Lugar, I found it stunning to hear Mr. Natsios in his testimony just now talk about part of Plan B being actually setting up mechanisms to enforce and implement sanctions that have been on the books for more than two years now. That's ridiculous. For the multilateral U.N. measures, that would mean the president instructing his foreign policy team first to obtain a strong Security Council resolution mandating global sanctions and then to build an international coalition for their enforcement with a dedicated envoy to lead that process. That's what happened on Yugoslavia. That's what would be needed for Sudan. None of it exists now.
Regrettably, Mr. Chairman, we find ourselves still at the stage of calling for meaningful measures at all. After the latest rounds of diplomacy have failed -- I hope I'm too pessimistic, but somehow I doubt it -- we must demand that such sanctions plainly be imposed. Presuming your intense oversight to ensure vigorous enforcement of such sanctions, then time will be needed to assess their effectiveness. But we would urge not too much time. The people of Darfur cannot survive new months and months of "now let's see what happens."
I also must stress, Mr. Chairman, that there are other measures available now to this administration. Plan B would have more prospect of success were the administration to heed your and our repeated calls for a full suite of coercive steps, including a no-fly zone and denying ships that carry Sudanese oil entry into U.S. ports as the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act authorized last fall. We don't see why these and other measures are not being included in Plan B from the outset, just as we don't see why Plan B sanctions would purportedly only target three persons -- and to boot one of those being a rebel leader -- or why the administration's overall global diplomacy regarding Darfur is so intermittent. As has been noted already, China, Egypt, the European Union, the Arab League, South Africa, the African Union -- all these players have key roles in this, and none of them are doing what they need to do right now.
In fact, we just wrote to President Bush urging that he launch a sustained diplomatic coalition-building effort now. That's also long overdue. The administration's support for the Durbin divestment bill would also have a strong impact.
We urge that the administration prepare now to take these steps rapidly should a first round of sharper sanctions not quickly end Khartoum's killing in Darfur. The only result that counts is lives saved or lost, and shamefully, they've been lost, and that's been something that's been measured in the tens of thousands in Darfur.
Action -- tough, wide-ranging action is needed now to match the president's deep concern and tough words if the people of Darfur are to obtain any relief from their epic suffering. The Save Darfur Coalition's hundreds of thousands of activists will press that demand ceaselessly until the genocide stops. In fact, they'll be gathering in two weeks in nearly 150 cities across our country during Global Days for Darfur to demand effective international protection for the people of Darfur and strong action from our administration. But it's this body which can and must ensure that the administration follow through on Plan B, is prepared fast with a Plan C if necessary, and in the end does whatever it takes to make this new century's genocide -- first genocide its last genocide.
We urge you to press hard for that level of sustained administration engagement, and we thank you for the forthright approach indeed you took in the hearing today. And I thank you very much, and I look forward to your questions.
SEN. BIDEN: Thank you very much.
MR. MORRISON: Chairman Biden, Senator Lugar, thank you for taking the lead, organizing today's hearings. And I'm grateful for the opportunity to be here to speak. I'll organize my remarks around a few brief points.
I believe our single goal -- single dominant and defensible goal still remains to seek a political settlement to end Darfur's internal war. We need to achieve this through concerted international means. We need to achieve a political settlement with Darfur that will replace Darfur's violent internal war with an interim ceasefire, new form of governance under fair and just terms, backed by reliable and verifiable guarantees, and I believe there are no feasible alternatives. We need a strategy that is grounded in realism and patience. It is going to take three to five years to negotiate a way forward in Darfur. There are no quick fixes. There are no quick military options. Military options are a utopian diversion in terms of grand interventions that are going to suddenly change the situation.
We require a multilateral approach. We cannot act effectively without allies. We need the Security Council Perm Rep members. We need European allies, we need African allies, and we need support within the Arab League.
In the current context of the war on Iraq, our standing in the world is severely compromised. To imagine that we're going to mobilize any array of support around anything other than a steady, pragmatic, negotiated peace settlement is simply unrealistic.
I am in support of continuing to keep our eye on the prize. The prize is a negotiated political settlement. Using various forms of sanctions -- targeted sanctions -- on Khartoum -- as many of those sanctions that are today on the table -- to service that goal can make a lot of sense, if it is tied strategically towards getting to a settlement. Sanctions need to be put in force against Khartoum. They need to be put in force against the spoiler non-signatory combatants in Darfur, who, as we've heard, are continuing to carry out atrocities.
Diplomacy has to have primacy in this effort. We have no choice. There are no quick fixes to this. We need to give primacy to our diplomatic efforts to renew a Darfur political negotiation. We have an agreement in the form of the Annan Plan. We have renewed leadership in the form of Jan Eliasson and Salim Salim. We have renewed leadership within the U.S. government in the form of Andrew Natsios and John Negroponte. We should be focusing that effort around what is realistic to achieve and moving forward a negotiated, political negotiation and settlement for Darfur that builds off of the May 2006 Darfur Peace Agreement.
Sustained high-level U.S. leadership has been for several years a strategic element in achieving results in Sudan. The North-South Peace Accord, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of January 2005, only came about over a three- to five-year period through sustained U.S. engagement. Senator John Danforth made crucial contributions. Similarly, Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick in his role made pivotal contributions in getting to the Darfur Peace Agreement of last May.
There are hard lessons to the pattern of U.S. engagement. It has not been continuous; it has not been sustained; there have been breaks and lack of continuity, and as we've seen with the May Darfur Peace Agreement, which because of a lack of follow-through fell apart.
I want to mention also, while we're talking about the centrality of U.S. political leadership at a high level, that what is happening in Somalia does not help us. I know this hearing is not about Somalia, but our partnering with the Ethiopians in a counterterrorism campaign in Somalia, which is now beginning to turn very ugly for us, is widely seen within the region as anti-Islamic. It's now -- we're now under allegations -- perhaps true, perhaps false -- of associating ourselves with the policy of renditions and war crimes. But we have provided the region -- we've provided Khartoum inadvertently with a new angle for arguing about the lack of moral standing of the United States in putting the focus back on Darfur. And it's also widening the crisis within the Horn and focusing a -- focusing -- requiring a focus on a broader level.
There are scattered and uncoordinated international efforts today with respect to Darfur. I mentioned earlier the U.N.-A.U. effort, led by Jan Eliasson and Salim Salim, offers the single best hope for moving this -- for moving forward in this regard, for a renewed political process. It can be backed by sanctions or the threat of sanctions.
I want to touch briefly on the sensitive issue of genocide because that has been the dominant concern of this -- of this hearing. In the United States, there seems to be a broad consensus that what is happening in Darfur constitutes a continuous genocide. That view is not necessarily shared among our key allies in Europe, in Africa, in the Middle East. It is not necessarily shared by those who are operational on the ground in Darfur.
This is a problem. We have not won the opinion argument internationally around this issue, and it's a problem. And it gets back to the point that unilateralism will not work in Sudan, multilaterism will work. Talking about genocide may not be the lead argument in getting people to cooperate in a joint effort. Talking about a negotiated peace settlement may be.
On the question of Chinese influence. I agree that there has been a subtle shift in China's approach to Sudan, a greater willingness to raise the issue with Sudanese leaders, and that there is an emerging consensus with the United States on implementing the three-phase Annon plan is the best way forward.
I agree that the Chinese are more public, and they are willing to dispatch -- as they just did with (Jai Jun ?), the assistant secretary -- to dispatch senior level officials to Darfur and to have them saying important things publicly that reinforce our position.
I also believe that if we move toward sanctions, we're going to have to be very careful in how we execute them. If, for example, we begin to impose unilateral Smart Sanctions under Plan B focused on select individuals and commercial entities, and these measures do not directly target Chinese economic interests, it's conceivable that these pressures could be raised through sanctions while action in collaboration with China continues. However, if we somewhere -- somehow along the line step into an active campaign of vilifying China -- threatening their strategic interests, or threatening, as many are proposing now, a boycott of the 2008 Olympics -- we can pretty well rely on losing their cooperation in the Security Council and their cooperation in Khartoum, and as we've seen recently in Darfur.
There are many specific things that can be tabled further with the Chinese as measures that they can -- they can move forward in this period.
Two last points: Don't forget how important the humanitarian channels are. Two-and-a-half million people, 13,000 humanitarian workers, billions invested -- this is a U.S. -- predominantly a U.S. achievement of leadership. This is a population that is highly vulnerable, both the humanitarian workers and those in the camps -- the civilians that are imperiled and remain in the camps, and remain 100 percent dependent upon international handouts. We cannot treat this reality in a frivolous manner. We have to acknowledge that if we take a misstep and kick the pins out from under this operation, it will be catastrophic.
We also can't forget what is going on in the comprehensive peace agreement between the North and the South, which has been overshadowed and overlooked in this period. I would argue that the South is in a period of "governance drift" and increased interethnic tensions and violence. It has ingested over $1 billion of oil earnings -- it's not clear to what purposes these are being placed. This is a nation- building exercise that the U.S. has embraced. It's a peace agreement that is unfolding that we bore central responsibility for. We need to pay higher attention to this if -- in order to ensure that things go well.
SEN. BIDEN: Thank you very much.
Dr. Morrison, can you recall whether any of our allies thought that what Slobodan Milosevic was doing was genocide?
MR. MORRISON: I don't recall any of them thinking it was genocide. Matter of fact, I was in, I think, every capital in Europe and I was told by each of them -- particularly the British, that is was a civil war, it wasn't genocide.
SEN. BIDEN: Am I missing something here? I mean, can you think of any time where Europe has declared genocide in play recently? Any nation -- pick one for me.
DR. MORRISON: (Off mike) I mean, this is a question of whether you feel that European -- European opinion, leaders or intellectuals, are more resis -- less resis --
SEN. BIDEN: No, it's not anything. I'm asking a simple question. It's a simple question. You made the point --
DR. MORRISON: I don't think I'm really qualified to answer those questions.
SEN. BIDEN: Well, sure you are. You know whether or not -- you're a very bright guy, you're very well informed. Can you recall any government during the late 80s, early 90s in Europe saying what Slobodan Milosevic was engaged in was genocide? Name me one. Now, you're around as long as I am. This is your full-time day job, you know -- I mean, you know, you do it all day. Can you think of a -- the point I'm making is that you point out that there is not a consensus that there's genocide going on in Darfur among our allies and others -- as if that carries any weight other than whether or not we'll get their cooperation. You offered -- as it might go to the facts as whether or not genocide has occurred. I'm just giving the last recent example of genocide.
I remember for three years -- if not being the lone voice, one of the lone voices out there saying genocide is being conducted by a guy named Slobodan Milosevic out of Belgrade. And I remember being lectured by the British, the French, the Germans, everyone, no, it was not genocide, including many here in this country. And so I guess all I'm saying to you is the fact that our friends don't recognize what's going on as genocide doesn't lend any credibility or weight to me that there is or is not genocide. I just wondered if you had heard anybody reference genocide.
And I would respectfully suggest one of the reasons why our European friends and others don't want to recognize this as genocide is that it is a trump card. Once a nation engages in genocide -- a government, there is an implicit understanding that they have forfeited their sovereignty. There's no legal understanding of that -- there should be in my view -- but there is no legal understanding of that under international law. But that gives -- that changes the whole dynamic. The reason why guys like me have been pushing for four years to say this is genocide is to create that exact atmosphere -- to make it impossible for people to argue -- not impossible, difficult for them to argue -- that somehow Khartoum has legitimacy. I believe they have no legitimacy. I believe they have forfeited their sovereignty because of their concerted engagement in a policy of genocide -- that's just me.
So I just -- I find the argument that none others say this is genocide -- I don't remember anybody else in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 saying genocide existed in the Balkans in Bosnia. That's the only point I want to make. You used to have a president --
DR.. MORRISON: Mr. Chairman, make I make --
SEN. BIDEN: Please. I invite your comments --
DR.. MORRISON: I mean the -- what I'm trying to put a focus on is the practical, political problem of attempting to enlist support for the kind of actions you're talking about --
SEN. BIDEN: I'm not asking for support. I think the only way you're going to get support is act. The only way we got support in the Balkans is we acted. We shamed the French government into acting -- their pubic thought, in overwhelming numbers, it was genocide. The French government said it was not. I remember my detailed discussion with the president, and then-secretary of state, in the Oval Office -- and asking, "Well, if we act, who will follow?" I said, "They will follow because they cannot fail to follow." Do you think that anybody in the European populations think what's not going on is genocide, notwithstanding what their governments think?
So I guess what I'm saying to you is, we come at this from a different perspective. I agree with Mr. Rossin when he said that -- I don't know his exact quote, he said that diplomacy without stiff sanctions to back it up is not likely to work. I don't know whether he used the phrase "never worked," but it is not likely to work.
And so I approach this from a completely different perspective than you and I respect your point of view -- you're a very learned fellow. But I just think that if you start off with the proposition that Khartoum has no interest in a political settlement -- it has no interest -- what is their interest in a political settlement? And then you would argue, "Well, if they have the interest in a political -- they have no interest, then you have to sanction them." Well, what sanctions are going to be sufficient enough for them to conclude that changing a fundamental policy is in their interest?
And you point out, we lack moral standing. I agree. This administration has squandered our ability to be able to lead the world in a positive direction. But if we lack moral standing in the use of force, we clearly lack it in diplomacy. I mean, if we lack it one place, we lack it both places.
As a matter of fact, the only place where -- at any rate. I apologize. I just -- we just start off with a fundamentally different premise. And I think in five years there will be another 500,000 or 1 million people dead, maybe more. And I would say to -- excuse me -- I would say to the honorable, that, you know, it is true that there weren't that many who had died in Kosovo, but 300,000 had already died in the Balkans -- 300,000.
So I don't want to -- you know, I happen to agree with you about Darfur. But I think these comparisons -- we acted in Bosnia under much less -- much less consequence to the people. There was a gigantic consequence in our failure to act. It ended up with 300,000 women and children being dead. And when we acted -- when we acted, finally -- thank God -- in Kosovo, there were 295,000 women and children in the mountains waiting for the winter to come, about to be starved to death. And so I think in that sense they're comparable. What is not comparable is presidential leadership, in my view.
But my time is up. I'm 33 seconds beyond it. I don't want in any way to curtail any response to what I had to say. But let me yield to my friend and then invite any response you'd have to anything I've said.
SEN. LUGAR: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Let me just say that I've really come to this question period without wanting to argue with any of the witnesses. And I think this has been a very important educational experience for each senator, and for those who are witness in the audience today, to consider a number of options, some of which have been argued, but I think none so persuasively.
I appreciate in a personal way the reunion with Susan Rice. I think her service was remarkable in the previous administration. And we once, Mr. Chairman, served on a selection committee for Rhodes scholars and I learned of her brilliance and analytical ability at that time.
Let me just say that as I listen to courses we might take -- for example, you mentioned, Dr. Morrison, that we've embarked on nation building. And -- maybe, but this worries me -- not that we should not do this. I'm one who has argued for some time, along with the chairman, that nation building is probably very important. We've even argued with the State Department to try to employ persons in some numbers who might be helpful in this respect, given the number of failed states, broken nations around the world. But we're not really at that point as a government. Our capabilities are still very limited.
For instance, when the chairman conducted hearings prior to the invasion of Iraq and we tried to think through what it would mean if Saddam fell, if the government of Iraq was no longer functional. The amount of testimony we had was pretty sparse on the part of the administration and with regard to the rest of the intellectual community -- not measured -- better informed. This is very tough stuff, but important. And the reason I pursued the questions that I did with Andrew Natsios is that at the end of the day, we're trying to think obviously not only how to save people from being killed, but how they're going to live successfully -- how 2.5 million people are going to regain stature, their livestock, their lands. And we have at least for the Sudan -- if we look at it from a nation-building standpoint -- a revenue stream of oil, which is sometimes not available, even after humanitarian crises are solved.
Now, in this particular case it seems to me there is further thought and that is with 13,000 humanitarian workers, which you mentioned are on the ground, their safety is of substantial importance for us. One of the -- and I've listened carefully to Dr. Rice and her comments -- but to get into a military action at this point, enticing as this might be, is to ramp -- stimulate the countermeasures -- counter activity.
So the question is, how do we protect the process of feeding 2.5 million people while military action occurs? Now, you can argue that the military action is very limited. The bombing of airfields or strikes against aircraft, the knocking out of various equipment -- really to show them more that we're serious, I suspect, rather than to overthrow the government of Sudan. But I'm not certain what the consequences are of that. It may be important to do ultimately. This is one I would want to walk around a good bit before we have the commitment of military force on the part of the United States, and especially unilaterally.
Mention has been made that our forces are stretched at this point. Well, this could lead to another debate about Iraq -- whether we should have devoted as much there with all the crises that go on in the world. Important point, but the fact is, even as we speak today the problems of recruitment for our armed forces, of re-upping reserves who had not expect to be called back is crucial. Now, maybe you can segregate the Air Force from all of this. I'm not certain it ever works that neatly.
So these ruminations that I have listing all of this leads me still to believe that probably the diplomatic track is the important one. That is if the sanctions are especially brilliant, they may be helpful. It turns out, I think in the North Korean situation, that sanctions imposed by the U.S. Treasury with regard to the Macao Bank were particularly effective in ways that a whole raft of sanctions against the North Koreans for years were not particularly effective.
Now, there's no equivalence between those two states, nor specifically what we're looking for, but I would want to think through with all of you as an expert panel what combination is likely to be effective. And how do we avoid, as you've suggested, alienating the Chinese -- very effective with us in the North Korean negotiations, probably, potentially, with the Europeans effective -- if we were able to bring about such a coalition with regard to Darfur and Sudan?
So let me just simply ask this question: What kind of preparation do you believe our government must have before we can be effective in terms of a Sudan -- whether we build it or not -- that can in fact offer the possibilities of economic security for its population, north and south, and interact with the rest of the world? If we become involved in that question, it seems to me, we may have a business plan that works so that finally we come to the end of the day with some humanitarian benefit for everybody.
Does anybody want to comment about any of this? Yes, sir.
MR. MORRISON: Thank you, Senator.
That's a complicated package, obviously, and I'd just like to make a couple of observations because I think there is an answer to it. I think, first of all, the points you've raised raise questions of prioritization. And as you've noted, we have all these people out there living in these extremely dire situation in camps -- lots and lots of people beyond the reach of any humanitarian assistance at all and no real security for any of the people inside or outside the camps.
We have the situation where, nevermind the threat of military action, even the kind of diplomacy that goes on now that occasionally may have some little saber rattling -- never fulfilled, but some saber rattling associated with it -- reportedly has consequences in terms of Sudanese obstruction of and attacks on humanitarian workers in the field. So that situation is very tenuous in any case. But I think our certain -- certainly our view would be that the first priority has to be to save the people of Darfur before we can really talk about either a political settlement that will be sustainable in the long run, or indeed economic reconstruction for their return home and so forth. They've got to be alive in order to do those things and right now, that's an issue that's up in the air.
There is a real challenge here in balancing the humanitarian imperative of keeping these people alive now and the diplomatic imperative of moving to a situation where they won't need to be refugees any more and where they can go home and live in a self- sustaining peace. I don't think any of us has a clear answer to how you balance that off.
I would also submit, however, that in our contacts with the administration officials -- and indeed in our contacts with foreign government officials -- we haven't found them devoting any particular attention to trying to resolve that conflict themselves and I think that that's their duty. They have to really walk and chew gum on this issue. And they have not been doing either of those things in our assessment.
The diplomatic sanctions, Plan B, no-fly zone -- whatever you want to call these things -- may have some important immediate effects -- particularly no-fly zone or other actions that would help secure the people of Darfur from violence. But all of that stuff really does need to lead back to Plan A, which is a diplomatic process that leads us away from a Sudan that is killing its own people and that should be, anyway, a pariah in the international community.
And we think that it's possible to do that with more intensive diplomacy, with more leadership on the part of our government, working in partnership with other governments to build the coherent and a sustained diplomatic approach towards Sudan. This was done when Sudan was harboring terrorists in the 1990s. It was done in order to reach the solution in South Sudan. We're just not seeing it happening here in Darfur. We're puzzled by -- we're puzzled why Plan B keeps getting kicked down the road and all the other things that were discussed in this hearing.
I think that what needs to be done in essence, Senator, is to identify the pieces of a formula for a long-term reconstruction of Darfur, the pieces of a coherent Sudan policy that balances off considerations of progress in the south against the needs of Darfur and then finally, a preparation which will take time to identify both the resources and the strategy for a reconstruction in Sudan as a whole. Not just Darfur, but South Sudan. But first, people have to kept alive and the genocide has to be ended.
SEN. LUGAR: Dr. Rice?
MS. RICE: Thank you, Senator Lugar. Thank you for your kind words in particular. And I'd like to respond to your very important and complex question. I also want to address briefly Senator Biden's point. And just to say, Senator Biden, I would certainly agree with you. We did the right thing, albeit belatedly in Bosnia. The toll there was enormous, and I don't mean to suggest that we didn't. I absolutely agree. All I'm suggesting is we did the right thing there, and it's past time to do the right thing in Darfur.
I think as Ambassador Rossin pointed out, it's important to recall we're dealing with multiple complex crises simultaneously in Sudan. We have the nation-building endeavor of implementing the North-South Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which is falling behind. We have genocide overlaid on a civil conflict in Darfur. We have another conflict, in fact, in the east of Sudan. We have a repressive regime that is a serious abuser of human rights, and we have a wider regional conflagration. So ultimately, ideally, we'd be addressing all of those things. But I think Ambassador Rossin makes a critical point that we have to prioritize, and that stopping the genocide and the threat to civilians is the first priority.
I want to be clear. I didn't come to the conclusion that we ought to use military force, even limited strikes, casually or quickly. I -- like you, Senator Biden, I'm not crazy about killing people. But I do think that at a certain point, we have to ask when enough is enough. This genocide, as many have pointed out, has been going on four long years. For the first year, the United States essentially ignored it because we had other priorities. We didn't want to upset the apple cart with Khartoum. And then, frankly, it was Congress that made it impossible for the administration to continue to ignore it. And you all recall well what happened in 2004. With Congress leading the way, calling it genocide, the administration eventually agreeing and the president and the -- Secretary Powell making that declaration.
In the interim, we have pursued negotiations as the principal vehicle of trying to end the genocide. Three years later, we're still essentially at square one. We don't have a sustained negotiated settlement, the genocide continues and we have issued threat after threat after threat and never implemented it. So as Senator Menendez suggested, we're really sending the message to the Sudanese government that, "We're going to blow smoke in your face and scream and yell, but at the end of the day, we're not going to do anything." And if that's the message that this government takes, then there's nothing to persuade it not to continue the genocide. And so as you suggested, yes, in part, the rationale for our proposal is to show the Sudanese government that we are, in fact, finally serious.
This is not a major military power that we're talking about, the government of Khartoum. It is not even the Milosevic government, which was rather formidable and which we took care of rather handily. This is a overstretched, torn in three directions, still third-rate military, and what is lacking from us is a demonstration -- a credible demonstration of resolve. If you know the history of U.S. dealings with Sudan and indeed, Sudan itself, as I know you both do, you'll recall that the Sudanese government responds almost only when the credible threat or the use of force is applied, or meaningful economic pressure. And that's why I advocate -- and I wish it had happened earlier -- the full implementation of all the aspects of Plan B as quickly as possible. Let's hope that works. Secondly, the issuance of an ultimatum, preferably from the Security Council, that signals to Khartoum that in fact, the game is up and if they don't admit a U.N. force unconditionally, then they face the threat of the use of force. And then finally, a limited and targeted use of force with the aim of -- as we did very effectively in Kosovo -- keeping the pressure on the regime to admit a credible international force to protect civilians.
SEN. BIDEN: Thank you.
I have one question, if I may. Ambassador Rossin, you talked about the mechanisms that needed to be set up even to implement Plan B. Do you have any indication as to how far down the road the administration is in equipping the administration to actually implement Plan B if it were assigned by the president tomorrow?
MR. ROSSIN: The short answer to your question, Senator Biden, is no, I have no actual information. However, we did a lot of research on these issues once we heard what Plan B was likely to entail in order to understand better what it does take, building on the experience from Yugoslavia sanctions, for example at the end of the '90s. And all of the pieces that were described to us that made the Yugoslavia sanctions as effective as they were do not appear to be in place at all. We're told that they may be being set up now, but I didn't get very much assurance of that, I have to say, from Mr. Natsios' testimony today. Neither -- certainly there's not adequate staff resources being utilized or being made available for this issue right now in the office of foreign assets control. We know that; we've talked to people there. We know that there is no task force on Sudan on Darfur in the intelligence community, which would be required to identify, substantiate, meet the legal standards for and then enforce sanctions against Sudanese entities that might be designated. That's something that's not in existence now in the intel community.
There clearly is no very, very senior sanction czar in existence now, nor do we know of one being considered for appointment on the order of the vice president's National Security advisor, Leon Firth, who filled that role on the Yugoslavia sanctions at the end of the 1990s, somebody who was very close, very short communication chain to the president. And when the bureaucracy, as they always do on these things, started making it difficult on very technical and very labor- intensive issues could go in there and really knock head and say, "Get to work. The president is giving the direction. You work for the president. Stop quibbling."
Finally, of course, sanctions, to be effective, do need to be -- or least to the extent possible -- they need to be multilateralized and international. And again, here -- I spent a lot of time over the last two months in Europe -- in Germany, in Brussels, in Paris and the UK talking about and pushing for EU sanctions action. And not only has there been no such action -- and there's none pending -- the quotes that Mr. Natsios gave, I'm familiar with because I was in Germany when they were made by Angela Merkel, and they were only as a result of pressure from EU cultural leaders and others at the time of the EU 50th anniversary event. There's no currently existing, nor do we hear anything about the appointment of somebody on the order of Ambassador Victor Commerce (ph) who again, during the Yugoslavia sanctions in the '90s and early 2000s was with a large staff constantly on the road, constantly harassing countries to enforce the sanctions on the Danube, to -- you know, do all of the really, really difficult detail work that's needed to make sanctions effective. So the short answer, Senator, is no.
SEN. BIDEN: In -- I know there's no way you can answer with any great specificity, but if tomorrow, the president turned to you and said, "Set these mechanism up," how long would it take?
MR. ROSSIN: I think if the president said to do it and put somebody in direct charge of it and said, "I want this done," I think it could be done in a matter of a couple of weeks. The resources are there in many cases. It's a question of allocating resources. If you don't have a Sudan task force in the intelligence community, well you take people from other less priority issues and you assign them to a Sudan task force. Same thing in Treasury. You appoint yourself an envoy -- doesn't take that long to do it if you're determined.
SEN. BIDEN: Dr. Morrison, leaving military option off the table and any more aggressive diplomacy, do you agree with the ambassador in terms of the lack of a mechanism in place to aggressively engage in diplomacy with the potential use of economic sanctions?
MR. MORRISON: It -- you mean with reference to other powers or to interagency -- interagency --
SEN. BIDEN: No, with reference to us -- with reference to the United States not only acting on its own but seeking multilateral support for the actions that are contemplated in Plan B. In other words, how prepared are they if it -- if tomorrow the president turned to Ambassador Natsios and says, "Go, I'm signing the order," how prepared for this vigorous diplomacy that you very skillfully argue for? How prepared are we to implement it?
MR. MORRISON: I can -- I share Larry's general sense about this, that much more can and should be done to lay the groundwork for the embrace and advance and multilateralization of these. It's a little hard to get very precise because so much of the preparations have been done in quiet and out of -- you know, out of sight. And so I haven't been privy to much of the prior discussions.
I think some of the hesitation in introduction has to do with the lack of buy-in on the other side, and the sense that you might find yourself alone or too alone or too visibly or conspicuously alone, and so there has been a tendency under those circumstances to be very cautious and to begin to break them into incremental steps that perhaps would be more digestible.
SEN. BIDEN: From the standpoint of E.U. members, what incentive -- other than a moral incentive -- what incentive is there to engage in and participate in multilateral sanctions? Is there any economic or political or military or strategic interest that major E.U. countries think is at stake for them if the situation in Sudan continues -- and Darfur continues as it has the last four years?
MR. MORRISON: If we're talking about Sudan specifically, I think -- you know, Susan's point earlier that this is not a major economic or military or political power we're talking about. The implications for trade are -- and investment exposure are relatively modest.
Like all of these -- like ourselves and every European government, they're going to look at this in terms of the implications downstream in other settings. And --
SEN. BIDEN: And what are those? What are some of those implications downstream in other settings for European countries?
MR. MORRISON: Well, I think that the fact that these kinds of sanctions have been used to reasonable effect on North Korea and are being implemented in Iran gives the credibility and --
SEN. BIDEN: Yeah, but there's a lot at stake there. I mean, there's the possibility of a nuclearized Korean peninsula, a nuclear Japan, a response from China. What similar kind --
MR. MORRISON: Yeah, but what I'm -- what I'm getting at is that it's proven that these can be -- these can have some impact on the target -- the target of the sanctions without having huge costs that are sideline costs.
SEN. BIDEN: Yeah. I see what you're saying.
MR. MORRISON: That's what I'm saying.
SEN. BIDEN: I understand. Yeah. That's a valid point.
MS. RICE: Senator, in part to answer your question, the French at least have a significant stake in the stability of Chad and the Central African Republic. They have French forces based in Chad, and when this thing blows -- blows up, as it has intermittently, it's been French forces that have had to backstop the Chadian government to prevent the Sudanese black rebels from reaching N'Djamena.
So when you look at the issue in its regional context, you begin to see many implications for various of the interests of the European countries.
SEN. BIDEN: Last question, Susan: The point made by Senator Lugar is self-evidently valid, that this is pretty complicated, and as -- to use his phrase, it warrants walking around the problem a little longer. You've walked around it for a while. If in fact -- is there any -- do you have any reason to believe that if in fact we move through the three phases you talk of before we got to unilateral use of force or even multilateral use of force -- is there any reason to believe that in the circumstance of the use of force -- targeted, as you point out -- that there would be the ability of any significant portion of the 13,000 aid workers to be able to continue to function in that region? Or do you -- are you taking as a given that for all intent and purposes, unless the military action generated a response from Khartoum that was favorable in terms of changing their position, that it would be a price that would have to be paid? How do you calculate it?
MS. RICE: I think whether we're talking about the imposition of a no-fly zone or targeted military strike --
SEN. BIDEN: Targeted military strikes.
MS. RICE: -- either one --
SEN. BIDEN: Oh.
MS. RICE: -- in either circumstance, because they're -- in practical terms, amount to more or less the same thing -- there's obviously, as you suggest, a significant risk to humanitarian operations. I think there are ways, as I suggested in my testimony, to mitigate those risks -- first and foremost, to try to spare aircraft and airfield that are integral to the humanitarian operations, having a quick reaction capacity on the other side to protect civilians at risk. But, in fact, we would need to assume that there would likely be an interruption or diminution in humanitarian activity, and that's a legitimate reason for concern.
The question then becomes, though -- and we faced this dilemma in effect in the Balkans -- you referred to British troops being at risk and therefore them being used as an excuse not to pursue more robust action to stop the genocide in the case of Bosnia -- we face the same thing. There is an understandable and laudable desire on the part of the humanitarian community to continue to deliver lifesaving assistance. But is our plan to do that in perpetuity while the killing continues, or -- in effect putting band-aids on the victims of the genocide? Or is it necessary at a certain point to try to stop it?
I've come to the conclusion, gradually and reluctantly, that it is not only necessary to stop it, but more robust action than we've taken to date will be required to stop it. I don't rule out the possibility that serious economic pressure, if it were sharp and severe and swift -- not incremental, as Mr. Natsios laid out -- has the potential to get Khartoum's attention and begin to change their calculus. But if it fails, then we face that dilemma of whether we continue to let this go on forever and feed the victims or whether we, in fact, try to stop it. And then, as Senator Lugar suggested, get into the complex and important work of trying to put the entire region back together again with the involvement of our European partners and others.
SEN. BIDEN: Well, I thank you. I thank you all. This is -- all three of you have made a significant contribution to our deliberation. And I appreciate it very much. I think we're going to be asking your assistance again. I doubt this is going to go away. I thank you very much.
The hearing is adjourned.