SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE ROUNDTABLE
SUBJECT: U.S. RELATIONS WITH SUDAN
CHAIRED BY: SENATOR JOHN KERRY (D-MA)
WITNESSES: TIMOTHY CARNEY, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO SUDAN; ROGER WINTER, SPECIAL REP. ON SUDAN; MICHAEL GERSON, ROGER HERTOG SENIOR FELLOW, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS; JERRY FOWLER, PRESIDENT, SAVE DARFUR COALITION; JOHN PRENDERGAST, CO-CHAIR, THE ENOUGH PROJECT
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SEN. KERRY: Well, good afternoon. We'll formally come to order now, though, everybody is remarkably, formally orderly. (Laughter.)
Welcome to the third Foreign Relations Committee roundtable discussion. As I've said previously, for anybody tuning in for the first time, we're not going to do this all the time; we're going to do it occasionally when we think the topic lends itself to it. But again, I want to reiterate that this has been a very productive way of digging into some issues in ways that sometimes the more formalized hearing somehow doesn't allow for or precludes.
And so I want to encourage all of our participants to sort of have at it, and I will try to moderate that and look forward to some of our senators to joining us as we go along here.
We will be returning next week -- I think our next hearing will be a hearing in the more traditional sense of the committee. And before long we will have a raft of nominations that will be coming up to us, and we look forward to trying to process those as rapidly as we can.
Discussion of Sudan policy inevitably comes back to two conflicts: one active and one frozen. There's an ongoing tragedy in Darfur, but also the unfinished promise of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement between Khartoum and Southern Sudan. We often treat these regions separately -- and some would say mistakenly -- and perhaps that's part of the topic that we ought to discuss today. So I'm eager to hear from each of the panelists whether we ought to be thinking about these issues separately or are they part of the comprehensive Sudan policy?
One issue with implications -- serious implications for all of the Sudan is the imminent announcement, or so we are lead to believe, of whether or not the International Criminal Court is going to issue an arrest warrant for President Bashir. And I hope the panelists today will shed light on the possible scenarios and complications that may follow an announcement that is anticipated.
Violence in Darfur has often eclipsed the fragile nature of the peace between Northern and Southern Sudan. Today history and a look at the upcoming political calendar offer real reasons for concern. The South seems to be heading toward an overwhelming vote in favor of separatism in 2011, and we can see the path towards escalation and collision that we hope to avoid that could come out of that.
The driving forces in all of this are oil, land, and the failure of the peace process itself. The things that could pull us back from the brink are in fact the inverse of those forces -- revenue sharing for the oil, border demarcation, and then a successful process of census, elections and referendum.
So we need to be asking now, how can America help the parties to peacefully fulfill the CPA in 2011 and beyond? We were, after all, a signatory to this groundbreaking agreement, and it needs to remain a cornerstone of our policy.
I'm also eager to hear the panelists' thoughts on the pros and cons of a no-fly zone in Darfur. How can we accelerate the deployment of UNAMID, and what can we do to enlist third parties like China to play a more productive role in influencing Khartoum's behavior, and how best do we help the south evolve from a guerrilla movement into a government?
We have with us a superb group of invited guests with a lot of knowledge of Sudan and years of experience in government and academia, and I'm grateful for them for being here. And obviously I welcome particularly the chairman of the subcommittee on the Foreign Relations Committee -- the chairman of the subcommittee on Africa, Russ Feingold, who's been there, followed these issues very, very closely, and Senator Kaufman, who likewise is very knowledgeable about this area.
Ambassador Tim Carney was our last accredited ambassador to Sudan, where he served from 1995 to '97. His three decades in the Foreign Service have included such challenging postings as Ambassador to Haiti; Saigon, during the Tet Offensive; Cambodia for the 1975 Khmer Rouge takeover; and Lesotho for the state of emergency in 1970. Maybe we should just send him wherever we need -- (inaudible). (Laughter.) And apartheid -- South Africa, to boot. Most recently he was coordinator for economic transition in Baghdad in 2007.
In 2005 Roger Winter served as special representative on Sudan for Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick. From 2001 to 2005 he served as assistant administrator of USAID for democracy conflict and humanitarian assistance, where he helped the negotiations of the CPA. Before that he spent over 20 years as executive director of the U.S. Committee for Refugees.
Jerry Fowler is president of the Save Darfur Coalition, an alliance of 180 organizations that directs communications with 1 million Darfur activists and more than 1,000 community coalitions; worked as a law professor and served as the founding director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museums Committee on Conscience. His publications include, "Out of That Darkness: Preventing Genocide in the 21st Century."
Michael Gerson is a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a syndicated columnist in The Washington Post. He served President George W. Bush as a speech writer and later as assistant to the president for policy and the strategic planning.
John Prendergast is the co-chair of The Enough Project, an initiative to end genocide and crimes against humanity. As director of African Affairs at the National Security Council and a State Department special advisor, he was intimately involved in a number of peace processes across the continent. He's the author of eight books on Africa, including "Not on Our Watch."
So I think you can tell from those credentials that we have an opportunity here to have a very informed, in depth, and hopefully productive session. It would really be my hope, folks -- and I asked you all this privately -- that we keep the openings sort of to a minimum so that we could maximize the give and take between yourselves and the senators. And I'd really like to treat this, like, you know, we are trying for formulate a policy. We want to figure out why Darfur is still -- and Sudan are confounding us; why is there such a seeming inability of the international community to be able to weigh in and have an impact; what can we specifically do in these next weeks and months to try to change the dynamics and have a profound impact? Obviously, I think they could ripple not just throughout Africa but through the world and perhaps have a significant impact on changing the nature of the conflicts that we face today and setting an example for the possibility of global multilateral efforts to have a real outcome on affected lives. So that's the goal.
And having said that, I'm going to ask the Honorable Ambassador Tim Carney, master of crises --
MR. CARNEY: (Laughs.
SEN. KERRY: -- if not instigator thereof -- (laughter) -- to lead off.
I think if you point your buttons so that they're on, your interventions will be easier and -- we'll just go on.
You want to lead off?
MR. CARNEY: Thank you.
MR. : I have the microphones on already.
SEN. KERRY: Mikes are all on. You don't have to touch anything.
Thank you very much.
MR. CARNEY: I think it's on. Is it not?
SEN. KERRY: All right. Thanks.
MR. CARNEY: Thanks, Mr. Chairman.
I'm going to go very quickly directly to the issue. I regret I'm going to assume everyone knows an awful lot about Sudan. We're not going to start from the Kingdom of Kush. (Laughter.)
Basically, sir, I believe we need to do some things right now.
SEN. KERRY: You know what you might do -- it might be helpful for a layperson tuning in for the first time, is just do a two-minute -- (inaudible) -- on who's doing what to whom to the degree you can --
MR. CARNEY: All right. Very briefly then, modern Sudan began in 1956, I think it was January the 1st, with a disagreement due to the British over where the south would fit in the equation. And an insurgency started in the south which believed itself in the process of falling under the thumb of the northerners. The northerners Arabized, unwilling to accept their Afro-Arab identity, seemed to be putting their thumb on the southerners. That first phase of the civil war ended in about 1973 with an agreement -- agreement in Addis Ababa. The war resumed 10 years later because the then-dictator of Sudan, Mr. Nimeiry, decided he would play the Islamic card on the one hand, and he wanted to have much more control over the south.
Fundamentally, the issue between the north and the south is not one of oil, is not one of Islam; it is one of power -- who is in charge in Sudan.
At the same time you have had in other parts of Sudan, most vigorously at this point to list -- to whit Darfur -- a feeling of marginalization, a lack of desire by the -- (inaudible) -- Arabs, the ethnic groups that control the government in Khartoum, an unwillingness to either give those peoples of the west, the east, and indeed of the north a fair share of the resources or a fair share of the jobs in the government.
We wound up ending the civil war, thanks heavily to the previous administration and your former colleague, Senator Danforth, who helped spark a regional mediation. A peace agreement was signed on the 9th of January, 2005. That agreement has 1,100 specific points that must be realized; precious few of them have been realized to date.
That is largely the case because the unhappiness in the west spilled over with the assistance of money from Sudan's unhappy regional neighbors and arms from Chad into an insurgency in early 2003 -- an insurgency to which the government grossly overreacted, and in fact so overreacted that it caused the U.S. administration of the time to declare it a genocide and even the United Nations, which, while not adopting the term genocide, recognized grievous violations of human rights.
We're now at the point where the Darfur situation appears to be on the very cusp of seeing an indictment and arrest warrant for the president of Sudan coming down. We are in the year of elections, a key benchmark year to test the provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the north and the south. It's a parlous time, and indeed the U.N.'s secretary general special representative has been here on the Hill, as he has elsewhere in Washington, making the point that it's time for the international community to step up to the plate.
SEN. KERRY: That's a great, great summary.
So having done that -- and I think everybody will respect sort of giving you a couple extra minutes in that regard -- so what does stepping up to the plate mean?
MR. CARNEY: Sir, in my view -- first of all, we need to reenergize the region -- the region in which Sudan is a part -- behind the goals of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Basically we need to get the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, IGAD, back into the fray. It was IGAD that produced the Kenyan mediator, General Sumbeiywo, who actually brought the negotiations between the north and the south to fruition.
Let me quickly add, this won't be easy because Kenya is a mess; Eritrea and Ethiopia are equal messes. Uganda has its own problems with the Lord's Resistance Army. I believe, nevertheless, it would be worthwhile.
Second, we need to get the concern of the international community about Sudan reenergized as well. We've got to put some teeth and some focus in the international use of diplomatic and political muscle. This also means engaging the Chinese.
Essentially here in the United States we need a broad and rational debate on what Sudan policy should be -- a debate that owes less to individual and particular agendas than it does to focus on the interests of the United States itself.
Three things to do: Go first to Kenya; second, rebuild the troika of states that helped shepherd the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to fruition, adding the Chinese -- they have an envoy; they have been more responsible in the last two years.
Second, we need a gesture to Khartoum. Essentially we have been moving the goal posts for the entire period that I have been involved in Sudanese affairs. We never responded when Khartoum (bidded ?) bin Laden out, when they let us come in and photograph the camps we wanted to, and in fact it may now be time to do something very specific, such as removing Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. It is, after all, a coalition government now that includes the south.
And third, thank you, sir, for mentioning I'm the last ambassador to Sudan. I left in November, 12 years ago -- 1997. Surely we cannot argue that naming an ambassador is some form of a reward for a government of which we do not approve. It is rather a tool to effect our interests, no stamp of approval there.
We might look at that with a caveat, to conclude, that this current administration has embarked heavily on the use of special envoys and it may be more appropriate, I admit, to have a special envoy at this point, rather than to name an ambassador.
SEN. KERRY: Thank you very much.
Roger, you want a second here?
MR. WINTER: Okay. Just basically for --
SEN. KERRY: Is your mike not on? I don't think it's on.
MR. WINTER: No, I thought they were all on.
SEN. KERRY: There we go.
MR. WINTER: They are on.
First of all, the problem in --
SEN. KERRY: Pull the mike a little closer.
MR. WINTER: The problem in Sudan is the issue of governance at the center. Because governance at the center is the problem, what you really ultimately need is an all-Sudan solution. You can't really take it region by region.
Secondly, I would say that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that Ambassador Carney spoke to is the only mechanism currently in existence that provides an all-Sudan solution. It seeks to transform by democratic processes all of Sudan.
Thirdly, I'd say in the short run, the U.S. rules for a change would be to seriously focus on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and its very flawed implementation because it isn't the key mechanism and because we haven't been paying enough attention to the CPA process; we have understandably been preoccupied with Darfur.
And I would say lastly -- at least in my judgment, and I've been around in Sudan since 1981 -- is, say, that the next six months will tell the tale. The issues of the next six months will determine whether Sudan's fantastic Comprehensive Peace Agreement makes it or doesn't make it.
SEN. KERRY: That's a good summary -- appreciate it.
MR. GERSON: It's in some sense almost unfair that --
MR. : Push the button.
MR. GERSON: There we go.
It's almost unfair that the administration's very strong Africa team almost immediately faces an unprecedented question, which is, can a hunted war criminal be a partner in the Sudan peace process?
While in government I was very much for additional pressure on the Sudanese regime. I was very skeptical about ICC indictments of this type. They're a blunt diplomatic instrument. Once imposed, they're almost impossible to exchange -- to negotiate and exchange for concessions. They would kind of leave a thug in the corner, and that can be dangerous. But I've changed my mind in the case of Bashir.
The traditional carrots and sticks of diplomacy have failed in Darfur. For decades the Sudanese regime had been masterful at using minor concessions and delaying tactics, playing allies -- (inaudible) -- and critics with short attention spans to achieve genocidal ends.
SEN. KERRY: Just to interrupt you real quick -- is there any of the other panelists who disagree with the premise that they should go forward on this -- the ICC has to do what it has to do? Anybody? I don't want to get into a discussion; I just want to know if you disagree.
MR. : I disagree.
SEN. KERRY: You do disagree.
MR. : Yes.
All right. We'll come back.
MR. GERSON: The -- I think Bashir would like nothing better than to play another round of the game that he has played for a long time. The ICC warrants provide an opportunity to change the rules. And so maybe I'm urging to move the goalposts once again.
I think it's important diplomatically that Bashir be held personally responsible for either achieving massive progress or personally responsible for committing massive crimes.
There -- I think three predictable reactions to what's happened or what's happening: Sudan's traditional enablers, which include China, and the Arab League and South Africa and other nations in the African Union are going to push for the United Nations Security Council to defer enforcement. They're going to regard even the current negotiations as evidence for breathing room -- to give Bashir breathing room in this circumstance -- and to give him a reprieve.
On the other side I think Britain and France will likely insist on enforcement of the warrants because they care about the institutional integrity of the ICC itself.
America has usually taken a different approach for a variety of reasons: We haven't joined the ICC and remain unlikely to do so; the focus of American policy has generally been on negotiating positive outcomes in Darfur instead of defending the institutional health of the ICC. But I'm convinced that progress in Darfur now requires the ICC warrants to mean something. Granting a deferral in exchange for another round of worthless -- (inaudible) -- pledges and promises would be a surrender of international seriousness at a key moment. Bashir's only hope of self preservation should be the achievement of large changes on the ground in Sudan, and I think that could include the CPA enforcement and other issues.
Until this type of cooperation is demonstrated, I think Bashir should be treated as an international pariah, a designation that he has fully earned. The Obama administration should make clear to -- (inaudible) -- the African Union, Mbeki, others, that a premature deferral is unacceptable and that direct diplomatic contacts with Bashir himself should be limited just to peace negotiations -- a kind of selective isolation.
SEN. KERRY: If you treat him as a pariah, does that doom the CPA?
MR. GERSON: No. I think what -- the diplomatic balance you have to do here is try to find a way to engage a government of national unity on peace agreements, and even engage Bashir on peace agreements, but to cut off other -- (inaudible) -- diplomatic recognition and engagement. And I think that could have a couple of consequences. I think it will increase external pressure, but there's the possibility, the hope that strong persistent international isolation might slowly increase the regime's internal pressure.
Sudan has a collective leadership -- it's more like a criminal gang than a totalitarian dictatorship. And if the Sudanese army eventually decides that Bashir has become a leper and a liability, he might be replaced by someone who better understands the new rules of the game, which do not include impunity for genocide. I think that's a distant prospect right now, but maybe the best possible outcome.
SEN. KERRY: Thank you, sir.
SEN. : I happen to agree with Mr. Gerson's point. And I would like to get the ambassador -- if we could just center on this because I think this is an extremely important point. We've been talking about broken expectations for a long time. I think all of us believe that there is strong evidence that Bashir has been involved in crimes against humanity, and a lot of us have been calling for a different path. So why shouldn't the international laws be enforced?
MR. CARNEY: Sir, I don't think anyone doubts the enormity of what the authorities have done in Darfur, nor indeed can President Bashir deny his own responsibility as head of state and commander in chief for those acts. My argument is rather more practical, and in fact almost totally pragmatic. First of all, we are not going to get an international isolation of President Bashir or of Sudan. It's not going to happen, much as U.S. policy in the Clinton administration did not result in isolation of Khartoum, and in fact that administration changed its policy in May of 2000 to engage on the issues of terrorism and on the war.
That I think is the bottom line on my argument. It just isn't going to do what we want it to do or what Mr. Gerson would want it to do.
SEN. KERRY: Can it even result in the unity government?
MR. CARNEY: Frankly I think we concentrate President Bashir's mind better if we do a suspension -- if I understand; subject to correction, please -- a suspension is only good for one year. I think we concentrate the man's mind better if we do a suspension.
SEN. : Mr. Chairman.
SEN. KERRY: Just -- absolutely, jump in. Jerry, you're next anyway.
MR. FOWLER: Well, I wanted to continue this discussion with a couple of things. The first is, we have some history with the indictment of leaders by international tribunals -- a short history, but it's some history. And the argument around the indictment of Bashir kind of mirrors the argument of the indictment of these others -- that it won't isolate them, it will disrupt peace processes. But the history of what we've seen -- with Slobodan Milosevic, with Charles Taylor of Liberia, with Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic in Bosnia -- is that actually naming someone a war criminal by an international tribunal -- or in the case of Sierra Leone, a hybrid tribunal -- does make them a pariah, it does isolate them, and it most importantly -- and this goes to something you said, Mr. Chairman, in your opening remarks -- it changes the dynamics. The dynamics we're in now are very negative dynamics. They're dynamics of violence. They're dynamics of, as Michael was saying, delay and dragging things out. This ICC indictment is going to change that dynamic, and I think it does create the possibility for greater isolation.
The second thing that I would say in responding to Ambassador Carney's suggestion of a suspension -- it is true under the terms of the ICC statute, the Security Council could vote for a suspension for 12 months renewable. And it's that renewable that is key because once the Security Council suspends one time, we're back in the same dynamic that the Sudanese government is so expert at playing, of negotiating, of giving just enough to relieve the pressure and then backsliding once the pressure is off. And I can virtually guarantee that if a suspension is enacted -- which I think there's very little chance of, but if it were enacted, 11 months after the suspension was enacted, there would start to be a negotiation -- just what little bit does Khartoum have to do to get it renewed? And then it would be renewed, and then we would have another 11 months of disaster. That's the dynamic we're in; that's the dynamic that needs to be changed.
SEN. : Mr. Chairman, if I could just --
SEN. KERRY: (Inaudible.) Absolutely.
SEN. : Thank you. You know, I have a lot of sympathy for the kind of positions that are being put forward by Mr. Gerson and others, but I'd like to hear more about some more specific aspects of the positions being taken.
On the indictment itself, I'd like to know how can it be enforced? And if we -- you were getting at this, Mr. Fowler -- if we cut off the option of temporary suspending the indictment, aren't we losing -- well, you look at it one way, but another way to look at is, aren't we losing the opportunity for leverage with this annual (beast ?)? And then the other (beast ?) of course is possible backlash against the expected international criminal court indictment, given the fact that we aren't even a signatory to the -- (inaudible) -- statute. So if people can just talk a little bit about some of those aspects of this discussion.
SEN. KERRY: Who wants to address that? Jerry?
MR. FOWLER: Well, I -- (inaudible) -- take a first stab at it, and I know John is itching to get into the conversation. (Laughter.)
I think the first thing in terms of the leverage -- the -- and this is a very interesting aspect about the way this -- the prosecutor has gone about it. It may be true, as Michael says, that in some cases the ICC is a blunt instrument, but the arrest warrants will just be for Bashir. And I think the demonstration effect of that arrest warrant -- assuming it's not suspended -- on his colleagues is going to be tremendous. They have not been the subject of arrest warrants, but they could be. And so I think the leverage is in showing what happens if the current dynamic continues. So I think there's a tremendous amount of leverage there and that leverage is lost, actually if it's suspended because then Bashir's a little bit back to where he was before.
SEN. KERRY: What about Senator Feingold's question about enforcement?
MR. FOWLER: On enforcement, the arrest warrant's not going to be enforced right away, and I don't think anyone I know is suggesting that there should be a swooping in to arrest Bashir. Actually it is the Sudanese responsibility to cooperate under the UN Security Council resolution with the ICC and ultimately to hand him over. But the same was the case with Milosevic. Milosevic was indicted by the ad hoc tribunal for Yugoslavia. There was not an immediate move to arrest him, but it furthered his isolation. And in fact, during the time that he was under indictment, we still talked to him about peace, about ending the conflict in Kosovo, but not about anything else. And that's the approach we should take with Bashir. And we know where Milosevic ultimately ended up.
MR. : (Inaudible.)
SEN. KERRY: John, you haven't gotten in here yet. Let me let John get in and then we'll come back.
MR. PRENDERGAST: There are internal dynamics that Jerry's just outlined, which are very important, but there's also some external dynamics that I think Ambassador Carney is not presenting that we need to put on the table first before we understand how potent the potential is now for a policy of isolation of this regime. This is a real moment of weakness, of vulnerability, for the National Congress Party, the ruling party in Sudan. Bashir's staunchest supporters are slowly inching backward away from him. China has $8.5 billion invested in Sudan's oil industry. They are coming to understand better and better through endless delegations going to Beijing to explain this that if the Darfur war continues on the north-south -- the tenuous north-south peace deal, the CPA, disintegrates into a resumption of war in the south, the very first target -- and everyone says this in the south -- the very first target -- and Roger and I have heard this many, many times in our travels in southern Sudan -- the very first target is going to be the Chinese oil installations. And just remember 1983 Chevron. So China has an interest in seeing some change in the behavior of this regime.
Secondly, the Arab states -- during this petro-dollar fueled economic growth bonanza that we've seen in Sudan as one of the highest economic growth rates in the world fueled by rapid oil price increases last year, you saw a tremendous investment by a number of Arab states in Khartoum and surrounding areas, and their investments are as well at risk if we're talking about the potential for a resumption of full- scale war across the country. And Egypt is a particularly interesting country. They go beyond some of the other Arab questions about this regime because they see Bashir as a liability. Remember 1995 -- who was behind the assassination attempt against Mubarak? It was Bashir and his cronies. And remember the two Gulf wars -- who was Bashir supporting? It was Saddam. And then the last straw over the last few months has been Bashir's strong support for Hamas in the Gaza. And this is just a bridge too far for Mubarak. He sees Sudan's Islamist movement as the most dangerous one in the region, and he doesn't want this to continue in the way it is.
This creates all kinds of potential. We don't have to get out with our megaphones and start shouting how we've got to enforce this indictment. In fact that would upset the apple cart. Let the external actors, particularly in the Arab world and the economic investors begin to work on this regime, and let the internal ferment that has been going on now for the last year in advance of this inevitable action by the ICC -- the internal ferment within this National Congress Party begin to facilitate what I think will, if we play our cards right, end up being a retirement of Bashir to -- in advance of the elections coming in the next year. They don't want an indicted war criminal to be their presidential candidate. But we can't put them in a corner, again, with the megaphone diplomacy saying you've got to step down.
Privately we ought to be working assiduously diplomatically throughout the world to see a very stern response to the indictments and the -- to the arrest warrants and the aftermath. Publicly we ought to be pushing them to -- we'll hopefully talk about this extensively -- for peace and how can the United States work with Arab League, African Union, the United Nations and our traditional partners to bring about the implementation of the CPA, as Roger argues so strongly, and a Darfur peace deal, which is within reach now with a weakened regime.
MR. : (Inaudible.)
SEN. KERRY: I don't want to exclusively focus on that, but I do want to -- I think we want to chase it down a little bit more to have more of a consensus perhaps about where we go here. But is this the first time that the ICC has actually indicted a sitting head of state? I believe it is.
MR. PRENDEGRAST: Yes.
SEN. KERRY: How does that change the dynamic from the examples you gave me of Charles Taylor and Milosevic and Mladic, et cetera?
MR. GERSON: Can I --
SEN. KERRY: (Inaudible.)
MR. GERSON: Can I react to a different slice of your question?
The pattern in Sudan has been a pattern of the government being able to achieve delays of penalties against them. That's what we're talking about here, okay? This is one of those "justice delayed is justice denied" kinds of questions because you have to keep in mind, while we may be talking about an indictment that relates to Darfur, this president and the people around him are responsible for at least 3 million deaths. Imagine what that population -- how they react when we agree to a postponement of a prosecution against the president who presided over the deaths of 3 million people. So I think it's a real problem.
And as I was saying about the CPA earlier, the next six months -- at least in my view -- is the critical six months that indicate whether the CPA works or doesn't work. We postpone right during that difficult period of time -- and maybe it can be manipulated to work in our favor, but we don't have a pattern of succeeding in that kind of thing in Sudan.
SEN. KERRY: Well, it doesn't do us a lot of good to debate whether or not it ought to happen. That decision is out of our hands, and if it does, we're going to be dealing with it.
Assuming that we are, what is the -- so go through what step one, two, three, for how you effect a real isolation that comes beyond a mere indictment. What should the United States do in leadership terms to bring people to the table, to do what? Precisely what?
MR. CARNEY: Well, there's some -- everybody -- part of our diplomatic leadership will be to find the comparative advantages internationally and exploit them. Some countries who have been very, very staunch ICC supporters ought to very publicly downgrade their relationships, and only, as Mike is saying, work with this government insofar as it supports the objectives of peace in Darfur and the implementation of the CPA. Others will have to act more quietly, and there is no more powerful image I think than if the United States spends a little time in Beijing, sending an envoy, talking about -- talking with Beijing about our mutual interests in long term stability and peace in Sudan and saying we may have very different reasons why we share these objectives, but we have them, so let's work together on this. And I think the -- and the Egyptians as well -- same thing.
I mean, they're not going to overtly call for the overthrow of -- the replacement of Bashir, but quietly they'll work towards it.
And so I think we can do a lot behind the scenes in building support for accountability for -- and the implementation basically -- for staging the implementation of this thing. We're not going to see somebody, as Jerry said, swooping in and capturing this guy in the near future. There is no enforcement capacity to the ICC. It's one if its core --
SEN. KERRY: If that's true, why isn't there an incentive in fact for him to simply hunker down with the cronies around him who are at risk and say, "Okay," you know, "I've got to prove to them that I can hold out, run the show," and in fact he becomes more oppressive and you have less incentive or capacity to implement CPA?
MR. CARNEY: Because it's not the Taliban. Because Bashir is not Saddam Hussein. They don't want to go down with the ship. These guys are pragmatists. They're not only survivors; they have ambitions and aspirations to play ball in the Middle East. That's why Bashir goes to Gaza and pronounces for Hamas. These guys want to play ball. And so -- and there are people chafing under these -- the international -- the partial international isolation that the United States -- by holding firm, but led by the U.S. Congress, frankly, for the last decade, pressing and pushing for some measure of isolation through targeted sanctions and other forms of --
SEN. KERRY: What kind of credibility will there be because he did go to Gaza and because he does take that position and because he is in a sense the target of external forces -- that he plays a dangerous game of the martyr to the conspiracy of countries that are at "war with Islam" anyway -- quote -- and I put quotes around the "war with Islam," carefully.
MR. CARNEY: It's not the majority view within the regime. And the majority view within the regime is that puts them at risk. It puts the long-term viability of the regime at risk to be associating themselves with these kinds of movements and countries like Iran. And I think that ultimately given the option, now that he's indicted, now that we have an election coming up, that there will be a consensus position -- this isn't a dictatorship -- a one-man dictatorship, as Mike said. This is a junta, and they will say, "Step down; honorable exit; we'll give you a nice retirement," but only if they see the international community stiffening in support of accountability in Sudan.
MR. GERSON: If I could --
SEN. KERRY: What happens to UNAMID efforts and to the idea that we're going to try to actually work immediately on the implementation? If the next six months are critical, as Roger says, to the implementation, do you blow away those six months because of this fact of what has happened externally?
MR. GERSON: Could I just raise one point as part of this? And that is, how much international support will the United States have if it's our position that they should go forward with the indictment without a deferral? Are we likely to get significant international support? Are we going to have to veto a resolution in the Security Council? How far will the United States have to exercise leadership? We can't control the indictment, but the politics after the indictment might be in the United Nations. How effective will we be to get the type of consensus we need to be effective?
MR. : Let me briefly respond. I guess I'm not quite as encouraged by these prospects. I see the difficulties. I mean, China is already off the reservation on -- they, you know, ceased to support -- as the AU has already done -- issued a statement supporting the deferment. I don't think it's a good sign that Russia now has a special envoy in this circumstance, given their background with Chechnya and other things. I don't think that they're particularly interested in putting this process forward.
But the advantage we have here is the ICC process itself. Previously, in the Security Council, one of the sources of frustration is that the weakest member has a veto over all action, okay? Now, because of the ICC, we're in a fundamentally different circumstance, where the veto of the strongest member can actually cause action to take place. And that has been one of the real problems in all of this, in all of the negotiations we've undertaken, is that we lift sanctions and responsibility on promises that are easily withdrawn -- two steps forward and two steps back. And in this circumstance in particular, it's not in a vacuum. Achieving that goal -- and the reason I think that America would have to veto, in many ways -- achieving that goal of a deferment would be a massive victory for Bashir, not a neutral achievement. I mean, this is what he attempted to do in the immediate aftermath of the indictments in July. There will be an international constituency to, you know, overturn these things. And the defeat of that was a huge international accomplishment. It was actually a form of pressure. I mean, they made a massive effort and it didn't work.
So there is some hope -- there is some hope in that, but I think the strength of the United States, given even covert donations that can't be public -- as public -- in the absence of that there would be nothing. That seems to me the reality we face right now.
MR. GERSON: May I?
SEN. KERRY (?): Yes.
MR. GERSON: What I'd like to say is that the issues of Sudan are bigger than this indictment, okay, and what happens to it. We have a population north, south, east and west that is at loggerheads at best with this government. We have a peace agreement, a comprehensive peace agreement which Bashir himself has signed on multiple occasions -- he's committed to it, all right? It is stumbling, it is going to fail -- very likely possibilities, perhaps growing at this point -- and to me the issue is not whether this particular man is prosecuted or whether we buy him off some time; it's all about the people of Sudan. It's all about what they have suffered, and it's all about getting beyond it via this peace process, which we ourselves led to negotiate.
What I'd suggest is that we're letting, in this discussion, the tail wag the dog a little bit. We ought to be talking about how do we get the existing peace process implemented? How do we engage to make that happen?
MR. : Mr. Chairman, I'd like --
SEN. KERRY: I agree with that, except that this can complicate that, and you've got to understand whether or not it does or doesn't, and whether or not it dictates a certain set of moves or another. I mean, let's say the indictment goes forward and there is a deferral, or deferment. Can you still operate with an indicted head of state in a way that implements the peace process? Can you do that?
SEN. : Mr. Chairman, on this point I very much appreciate the way you set up this hearing. We've had many valuable meetings with colleagues every once in a while about Darfur, and I finally got a bit frustrated, exactly along the lines of Mr. Winter's comments. What about, you know, the relationship of what happens between the north and the south as it affects Sudan as a whole, as it affects Darfur, as it potentially affects Uganda, as it potentially affects the Congo and Central African Republic and so on? It's a perspective that you obviously understand.
I guess I would suggest that properly supporting what we're trying to do with a peace agreement may be the preeminent question that has a greater impact vis-a-vis Darfur than the other way around, although obviously I feel very strongly about the issue of the indictments, about whether we should have a no-fly zone, about what should be done. You know, the cart before the horse; I don't know what the right analogy is, but I'd like to hear from the panelists at the appropriate time, Mr. Chairman, about what specifically we should be doing in terms of resources and other activities to help this peace process in the south because I think it is probably the underpinning of the rest.
SEN. KERRY: I think it's time to get to that. I think we've sort of laid the predicate of what may be some complications, but nevertheless I think it's time to hone in on -- I was about to ask, so what do we really do?
MR. PRENDERGAST: We greatly appreciate it. We can walk and chew gum at the same time. We can work in a court of accountability.
MR. : That's my quote.
MR. PRENDERGAST: I already stole that. I'm sure you have a personal --
MR. PRENDEGAST: You're old enough, frankly. (Laughter.)
MR. : Oh, man.
MR. PRENDERGAST: It's okay. He got me four times today already.
MR. : Okay.
MR. PRENDERGAST: But on the specifics of support for peace, this is utterly -- it's just as important as this ICC. We've got to get a special envoy on the playing field as quickly as possible -- someone who not just is an individual who can bring the gravitas and the seriousness of the United States government, who can pick up the phone and talk to President Obama, who as the full support of a very, very strong national security team in Vice President Biden and the secretary and the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., but also a team -- you know, Roger and I spent a long time during that CPA negotiation -- him more than I -- in support, and watched unfold an extraordinary diplomatic effort by the United States, working with Africa and working with Europeans, working with the United Nations and all the other partners, cornering the parties and finding a way to bring about a peace deal that everyone said was impossible between the north and the south.
We can do the same thing in Darfur and we can do the same thing through our diplomatic leadership for the implementation of the CPA if we work assiduously. That is our goal. If our goal continues to be, I believe, to manage the symptoms of the crisis in Sudan and not break the cycle of conflict, well, then we can throw a few assets and a few resources, do public statements occasionally, slap some more sanctions on people. It isn't going to be the game-changing cycle, conflict cycle-breaking action that we need to take.
President Obama needs to say very clearly, our fundamental objective in Sudan is to bring about an all-Sudan solution, peace for the entire country, and we need to work assiduously by supporting the Dafur peace process, which had begun falteringly. You don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. The process that's unfolding in Doha is not irrelevant and meaningless. It's important to get the Arab League involved because they can bring leverage and pressure to bear on the Sudanese government. They're part of the solution. Their U.N. -- AU- U.N. Ambassador Basole is part of the solution. It's just like we had in the CPA negotiations. There was a Kenyan general at the center, there were a number of other actors who played around the edges, and the United States was preeminent in providing the strategic direction to bring about peace. We can do the same thing now. We know how it's done. We've done it over and over again around the world. Why have we not done it in Sudan? To this day it absolutely boggles my mind.
SEN. KERRY: Are there a specific set of incentives or steps that would make a difference in that process?
MR. GERSON: Let me start that. I think it's potentially a good, long --
SEN. KERRY: Pull the mike closer, please.
MR. GERSON: First of all, it is the case, as John just pointed out, we had an intense presence during the first Bush term on the CPA. We had zilch in the second term. We couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time. We couldn't do Darfur while actually implementing the CPA. So the CPA has suffered tremendously in many of its key issues. The one that blew up last May, the burning down of Abyei, the richest oil field in Sudan, was predictable. You could tell. We in fact did -- a paper we did with Enough said, this place is going to be burned down about the middle of May, and right like clockwork it happened. There are lots of things we know that take place in Sudan that can help us decide how to support this whole CPA implementation process, but the first issue with that envoy is to have that team. It isn't good enough to have an envoy go out and talk loud and carry no stick whatsoever. You need the people there to do the work to make it happen.
And the second thing is the south is very jittery right now. When the place of Abyei was burned down, nothing happened. It is a specific protocol in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The Khartoum government violated it. Their military, the 31st Brigade, burned the place down. What has been the penalty? Nothing. Actually, Khartoum came out pretty well from that kind of thing.
So the whole issue of whither goeth the CPA and is the international community really going to make it stick? And what I would suggest is, since people in Khartoum are threatening that this ICC action -- some of them are threatening -- will result in the abrogation of the CPA. One of the places we need to start is to talk about some guarantees for the CPA -- some legitimate kinds of guarantees that we could engage in. That would be the start. But a team actually on the ground making the CPA work, and guarantees to protect the south if it comes to serious trouble.
MR. FOWLER: Can I add something, Mr. Chairman? And I think this is consistent with what John and Roger are saying. But there have been threats associated with the ICC thing about abrogating the CPA, and I think it's important that -- whether in dealing with Khartoum or dealing with other countries, that resolving the crisis in Darfur and implementing the CPA are not allowed to be seen as tradeoffs, or to play one off against the other. I mean, it is absolutely true that resolving the crisis in Darfur requires resolving the crisis in Sudan, and vice versa. And what Khartoum is very assiduous at is trying to create false dichotomies -- dichotomy between peace and justice, dichotomy between CPA and Darfur. And I think that one of the challenges that the Obama administration faces now is rising above those and focusing on both Darfur and the CPA -- make progress on Darfur but integrate Darfur and the rest of the country into the CPA. Ultimately, as Roger I think said at the beginning, and Ambassador Carney did too, the problem with Sudan is the center versus the periphery, and an incredibly unjust distribution of power and wealth.
MR. : Mr. Chairman, following on this, let's assume we get the attention -- and first of all, to understand that we're all talking about that we really have to focus on the CPA and the north- south issue, that we have a special envoy, that we have the personnel. What about the outstanding issues of wealth-sharing, border demarcation? Are there proposals already out there that the parties basically agree on, and what do our fact people that we send over there find in terms of these specific issues I understand are among the major --
MR. : If I may -- first of all, our contingent of diplomats is not as strong as it ought to be. We have -- many of our people that are coming in, they are there for one year. They know what their assignment is before they get to Sudan -- maybe I'm going to Ukraine next -- and they're thinking about Ukraine. But there are all kinds of internal problems of that nature that I think need to be addressed.
What Khartoum has done, basically, is forestall action in one way or another on almost all of the key things that get at the gut of the CPA, which is the issue of democratic transformation by election. They have agreed to this, over and over and over again. But all of the steps necessary to actually get to the exercise of a democratic election they have tried to frustrate, and in fact have frustrated or delayed.
Now, you mentioned the issue of the borders. That's critical. How do you set up a constituency? Who knows where to vote? You know, all of those kind of things. There is a whole series of issues like that. The first one that we'll hit, likely in the next couple of weeks, will be the issue of the national census. The national census was a huge problem in the way it was actually executed. The government didn't provide the money to start with on a timely basis, and on and on and on. The census, okay?
Then comes the issue of the timing of elections. Elections of the CPA ought to occur by July. There are issues of a genuine nature and a not-so-genuine nature that relate to that, but the issue of timing is terribly important.
The issue of Khartoum delaying the national parliament -- the National Congress Party delaying action with respect to legislation that is necessary to actually comport with the interim constitution of Sudan, which is in fact the CPA. Okay, there are all kinds of press freedom laws, all kinds of technical issues that have to do with elections themselves, and so forth, which haven't been dealt with. There are a whole series of those kind of things that need to be straightened out if you're going to move forward with elections, as provided for by the CPA, which would be having them in July.
MR. : If I may add just a note on Senator Feingold's question, there exists a body created by the CPA itself -- the Assessments and Evaluation Commission -- that was particularly inactive under its first chairman. Since it got Sir Derek Plumbly of the U.K. as chairman it's been much more active. I believe that body has the potential to help address successfully some of these questions. But it's part of much more international focus and sharper teeth, in the process of realizing the CPA.
SEN. KERRY: What are the sharper teeth?
MR. : It isn't just the north that is a problem in realizing the CPA. The Abyei situation, for example, may require a look through the Intelligence Committee. I won't say any more because I'm in it, but I think, Mr. Chairman, you definitely need an assessment on where the various sides are in the possibility of realizing, in the right time, the CPA itself. I don't rule out that there will have to be some delay. The key is it's a delay not to seem to reward the north for intransigence and complication, nor the south for incompetence and complication.
SEN. KERRY: And who could arbitrate that, under what form? Under this form of the troika you talked about earlier? How do you do that?
MR. GERSON: Well, I'd like to suggest that having an adequate envoy and team there can play part of that role. You know, notwithstanding the invectives you might get periodically out of Khartoum with respect to the United States, the relationship between the south of Sudan and the United States is a very strong one and a very good one.
I think, while not interfering in a heavy-handed way, the United States, by virtue of being the United States and having played the role that we played in this peace process, have a lot of leverage and a lot of ability to affect outcomes, and that's where we ought to start. There are probably a lot of other things we can do, but that would be a good starting place. We haven't articulated a vision for the new Sudan that comports with the vision of a new Sudan that actually underpinned the CPA.
MR. PRENDERGAST: That's a terribly important point, Senator, because, you know, these aren't technical issues -- there's a little problem with implementation. These are deeply political issues where power politics is going to determine one way or another whether these things get implemented. And power politics, the calculations of the regime in Khartoum and of the government of Southern Sudan and of the Darfuri rebels, their calculations are all affected in very, very immediate ways by the actions and the intentions of the United States and the resources we bring to bear to act or not act on any particular issue here.
And so, just to outline the continuum of action, if you have an envoy that is perceived to be someone who has the president's ear, if you have that team underneath -- and we've talked about it -- if you have two deputies, you know, one deputy working on Darfur and one deputy working on the CPA implementation, and then you create a roadmap -- and to get back to your question you asked earlier, you know, well, what are the incentives? What exactly -- what can make it work over the next six months? So the incentives are that you put the roadmap out there and say, hey, if you want to go this direction, if you want to go towards a peace agreement in Darfur, an implementation of the CPA, we're talking about normalizing relations, which is, frankly speaking, the thing that the government of Sudan would like to have most. It is a significant carrot.
But if you want to go the other way, undermining implementation of the CPA, obstructing a forward motion in a legitimate Darfur process -- peace process, then we're going to go with the escalating pressures, and we're going to work multilaterally. This isn't the United States versus the National Congress Party. This is a global coalition that we have to put together. It's painstaking diplomacy, no less difficult that what occurred in 2003 with respect to Iraq. We just have to put some of the diplomatic resources to bear -- bring some of those diplomatic resources to bear to be able to lead that coalition. And sometimes we don't have to visibly be in the lead. Sometimes it isn't in the best interests for the United States to be shouting at the rooftop about this issue or that issue in Sudan. It's better sometimes that we are leading from behind.
And I think that thee are very doable things. You have to bring about -- just like there's a clear idea of what the issues are in Southern Sudan, there are a clear idea of -- every Dafuri you'll ever meet knows exactly what the three or four or five things that need to happen for a Darfur peace deal. We just need to help catalyze a serious enough process to make that happen.
SEN. KERRY: In that effort we obviously have been working on this U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force. They apparently are at about the 60-percent mark in terms of staffing now, reaching authorized strength -- 26,000 peacekeepers and police. That's the goal. But it's been painfully slow. Why has the deployment been so slow? What does this say about the potential of our ability in the next months to change this dynamic?
MR. FOWLER: Well, I think one reason that it's been painfully slow is that getting a force like this deployed is something of a confidence game, and the people who are called upon to provide troops, and especially to provide equipment, have to have confidence that there's political will on the part of the Security Council to make the mission a success, and countries haven't had that confidence, and there's no reason why they would have that confidence.
First, in terms of just the very design of the force, it cannot protect civilians. It cannot do what it needs to do unless it's accompanied by an effort to resolve the conflict. I mean, just putting people in to protect civilians when the situation is continuing to deteriorate is not a recipe for success.
SEN. KERRY: So your belief is that if we can make these other commitments and engage on the ground and put people in there and are visibly moving, that people will be far more ready and prepared to follow through on the force. That's the bottom line.
MR. FOWLER: I think that will improve the prospects for that. I think another thing that would have to happen and that was a serious flaw in the implementation was effectively giving the government of Sudan a veto over the composition of the force so that when particularly capable units were offered -- for example, the Nordic countries offered an engineering unit and it was vetoed, basically, by Khartoum, and they were allowed to veto it.
SEN. KERRY: Well, how much of the delay has been Khartoum's obstructionism?
MR. FOWLER: Well, a lot of it's been Khartoum's obstructionism. A lot of it has been U.N. bureaucracy, and trying to work out a hybrid force. I mean, this concept of having a United Nations-African Union hybrid force presents a lot of bureaucratic complications. Now part of it has been, to be honest, this lack of confidence that it's going to succeed, so no one is really rushing to get it deployed. I think if you go and talk to all the different people, there's plenty of finger- pointing on why the delay. But the delay is just a symptom of the larger problem. The concept is flawed -- trying to put a force in without being supported by a peace process, without having a political commitment by the Security Council and the permanent members of the Security Council is a recipe for the failure that we've had.
MR. : I agree. One of the general problems -- if you're in Congo or Sudan or other places -- is the U.N. does not regard itself as a peace establisher; they regard themselves, I think properly in many ways, as a peacekeeper, and, you know, the minimal conditions have not been met. But it has led to a lot of discussion about how you might supplement those efforts, either by the United States or by NATO, basically because this is a systemic, very difficult problem of capabilities that many of these U.N. forces have. There's a lot of complicated reasons for that. But it is a source of frustration and it should, I think, be a source of outrage, in a certain way, of why a force like that would not have, by this point, a much more capable group of attack helicopters and other things that might actually begin to inhibit that, and the role of the United States and others might play in that in NATO countries --
SEN. KERRY: Is there any way that you could see a more rapid infusion of the helicopters? Everybody agrees they make a difference?
MR. PRENDERGAST: Yeah, I think everyone does, and I think the Bush administration tried very hard to get those. I think Rich Williamson and the secretary and others, I think -- I mean, what Jerry is saying, you just can't overstate that. I mean, people think this is a loser mission. You cannot do peacekeeping before you have a peace agreement. Otherwise you've got to say it: it's a peace enforcement mission or a civilian protection mission and we need special forces and we need a deterrence capacity, attack helicopters, to go after the Janjaweed and other forces that are causing problems.
But in the interim now, while the confidence is zero in success, what do we need to do? We need a political investment. We need -- a surge is what Jerry and I have talked about, a peace surge for Sudan and a real investment in a viable peace process, which hasn't existed in the six years since the genocide started. And so, you know, we got that possibility now.
MR. GERSON: Right. I would only add, because I don't disagree, but I'm not sure it's just a problem of attention. These are often problems of leverage as well, and they -- you know, there was -- you know, there has been, at various stages, you know, quite a bit of attention, but you face a circumstance where -- you know, going back to the earlier question -- where one of the reasons there wasn't a lot of progress on Darfur on the security side -- I mean, a lot on the humanitarian side, not so much on the security side -- was precisely because the regime holds the CPA as a hostage. That is the context of all of this. They always respond. You can't take measures that will increase leverage on the regime because you're going to destroy the CPA, but that's their main argument.
I think we've tried that approach.
SEN. KERRY: Which one?
MR. GERSON: The approach of avoiding, you know, those increases in leverage to change the --
(Cross talk.) MR. GERSON: -- on the ground.
SEN. KERRY: What did you feel was the increase in leverage?
MR. GERSON: Well, I mean, there was attempts -- I mean, some of it is, you know, trying to get the U.N. in place, which I think is an improvement over not having the U.N. in place. Some of it was assumptions that bit harder than some people thought as they were moving forward, even though we had a tough time getting more countries involved. But that's where it leads to back both to the ICC and no fly zone and other issues like that. I mean, I don't see any reason --
SEN. KERRY: Is a no-fly zone doable, and would it have an impact?
MR. GERSON: Well, I believe that there is a -- and some of my knowledge is a little bit old on this, but the reality is that Sudan has very incapable ground forces, and that their main military advantage is their ability to fly offensive aerial operations. They get beat a lot in the absence of this kind of thing.
So, yeah, there is -- this is not a regime with nothing to lose. They could lose something in this circumstance. Now, how you might use that as a threat, you know, is a different matter. But the ICC is actually, itself -- indictment is itself a threat. There's an argument here that maybe I might have with John and Jerry because I'm in a position where I don't believe that deferment should be sold cheaply, okay? But I'm not necessarily in a position of saying that it should never happen under any circumstances. And I don't think this administration is going to be in that position either. The question is whether you might use it -- unlike, you know, the way we've thrown away leverage in the past, you impose it, you enforce it, you have a strong backbone, you build international pressure, and you get to the point where you say there may be circumstances under which this --
SEN. KERRY: But if you're not going to oppose it and you're going to say what you're just saying, you better sure as heck have a clear set of stated objectives and priorities of how you're going to move to make a difference.
MR. GERSON: Oh, I agree.
SEN. KERRY: Because you can't allow that to happen and have more of the same.
MR. GERSON: No, that's the worst scenario.
MR. PRENDERGAST: And the new things that we haven't been able to do yet in terms of the pressure category. So the incentive category is -- the grand enchilada is normalization with the U.S. Do the right things -- X, Y, Z -- this is where you get. And Article 16 ought to be in that mix. I mean, I don't categorically oppose it if -- I mean, if the ICC charter said, in the interest of peace, if there is significant evidence that will bring that about, then why not?
Okay, but on this pressure side, that's the thing that we haven't done much about, partly because of what you're saying. They've held pressures hostage to the CPA implementation track: implementing an arms embargo, empowering the sanctions committee in New York to actually implement penalties for exporting arms to this regime for the kinds of -- and then having those arms going -- shuttling off to Darfur. That's a violation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution. We need to enforce that, number one.
Number two, Michael mentioned about the targeted sanctions the United States has imposed. The United States has led the world in imposing a series of strong sanctions, unilaterally. We need to multilateralize those more effectively. We need to work within the Security Council to find common ground, to get at least a few more people sanctioned, see that there is some measure of movement up the chain.
SEN. KERRY: How do you see China reacting to that?
MR. PRENDERGAST: China, you can, with a strong diplomatic push, in the context of an indicted war criminal, we can get them to abstain. And that's all you want. You're not going to get China supporting this kind of stuff, you want them to abstain and move forward.
And then thirdly, the military options. So, you asked whether a no-fly zone was a credible option right now. I think it is. And I think it is precisely for the reason that Michael states, is that that's their -- that's their point of superiority.
Now, you don't do something like that lightly. You don't even talk about something like that lightly, because what would happen, Senator, potentially is if we -- let's just say the government of Sudan escalates -- intensifies their aerial bombardment on civilian targets in a particular place; we have verification from the United Nations-African Union force on the ground of a particular location, a particular airplane; and a plane in sent in, details to be determined, and it goes in and it hits one of the government of Sudan's planes on the ground in, let's say, El Obeid Airport in southern Kordofan.
Now, what is the reaction of the government of Sudan? If it is to close air space to humanitarian flights, what are we prepared to do? So, we shouldn't do this kind of thing lightly if we're potentially going to make matters worse. We have to be prepared with a escalating set of offensive military (efforts ?).
SEN. KERRY: You've got to think through cause and effect, absolutely.
MR. PRENDERGAST: Exactly.
SEN. KERRY: In the recent combat between the Sudanese forces and the Justice and Equality Movement in South Darfur, the government of Sudan reportedly asked UNAMID to leave the area, but the peacekeepers didn't. Is the fact that the peacekeepers didn't a sign of some sort of strength and resolve, or were they -- do we, sort of look at it and lament that they weren't able to do more? How do you read that?
MR. WINTER: If I can jump in here -- and maybe in disagreement without being disagreeable. First of all, I don't think they're going to multilateralize any sanctions we have. I don't think we have enough credibility around the world, because of our position, to be able to do that. I don't think --
SEN. KERRY: Our position where?
MR. WINTER: Our position in Iraq; as a result of our international efforts around the world.
Normalization is not an incentive, John. Normalization is what we offered Sudan for signing the CPA and we did not follow through --
MR. PRENDEGAST: -- there is no credibility.
MR. WINTER: And we didn't follow through because they did Darfur.
MR. : I mean, look -- it's a logical trade-off.
MR. PRENDEGAST: But, life doesn't exist in a vacuum, there are other factors.
MR. WINTER: There is, nevertheless, no credibility in normalization as an incentive.
MR. PRENDERGAST: I think that's what they say, but they know where we are. I've said -- people in this room who represent the Sudan government, they know exactly what the situation is. They know what they need to do, we just have to be clear and credible that we will deliver what we say if they actually do (what ?) we do, which is implement the CPA; stop the genocide; and our peace agreement in Darfur; and don't start another war somewhere else in another part of the country so that that -- so that the goal-post changes again. I think it's pretty clear.
MR. WINTER: Now, your analysis --
MR. GERSON: And I would add to that --
MR. WINTER: Your analysis --
SEN. KERRY: Just one at a time. Go ahead.
MR. WINTER: -- your analysis of how Khartoum (criminals of ?) President Bashir regard him, I think it's a case of hope outriding analyses. I do not think that's the case. I think it is equally likely that an ICC indictment will bring more of even the opposition elements in Sudan around Bashir, at least in the short-term.
MR. PRENDEGAST: And your argument then is for us to hope that -- it's even more -- (inaudible) -- because you're hoping that the status quo will somehow deliver something different than what we have already.
SEN. KERRY: No, I don't think that's -- I don't think at all that's what he said. I think what he's that there's a different approach that may be more effective.
MR. WINTER: And, ultimately --
SEN. KERRY: He's not talking status quo. I --
MR. WINTER: Ultimately, Mr. Chairman, Sudan did negotiate and sign the CPA. And that required an enormous -- I think we're all in agreement that it required an enormous U.S. effort. And the --
MR. PRENDERGAST: The only thing about the status quo -- I just want to say, is the status quo is a lack of -- a complete and total lack of accountability. And until we introduce some level of costs for the actions of a regime that has led to the deaths, as Roger said, of 2.5 (million) to 3 million people; until there's an introduction of a new element, which the ICC has now provided us, I do not believe that the present course of action -- which would be deferring this latest effort to try to introduce accountability onto another year, this will be business as usual, a sign of business as usual by the international community.
That is the ultimate form of status quo for Khartoum. They'll stick that deferral in their pocket; the war will continue in Darfur; and the CPA will fall. I guarantee you that.
MR. CARNEY: And I would only add, as far as, you know, the earlier leverage point, that, you know, there were brilliant negotiations involved in the CPA, but it was also in the aftermath of 9/11 when the regime feared what might happen having sheltered Osama bin Laden.
I think those fears have dissipated, in many ways, but that -- (inaudible) -- I think a key contributor to the way the CPA developed. And, you know, we're not going to get that kind of situation necessarily again. And I believe that, you know, much -- some of that credibility at least has been undermined. But it is, kind of, the context of the connection between diplomacy and leverage in the context of the CPA.
MR. GERSON: In that regard, I brought up this issue of security guarantees for the South. It seems to me that it's part of the equation here. I'm no military expert, no security expert by any means, but if the U.S. took clear steps to help overcome some of the lax in the security capacities of the South, it would also be sending a signal to Khartoum, a signal of deterrence of the worst possible kinds of actions that they could -- (inaudible) --.
Now, for example -- I say I'm not a military person, some of the key weaknesses have to do with security of communication, for example. I mean, everybody in South Sudan talks on a cell phone, including the generals. Okay, all those cell phone operations operate through Khartoum, basically. Khartoum, which has several security centers in Juba itself -- the capital of the South, they hear all of this stuff, and so forth.
So, you know, if the situation tightens up -- I mean, there's no way to have truly secure communications right now. It's also the case that if you talked to some of the military leadership in the South they'll say, this is how we think it's going to go if the peace process breaks down. What they're going to do is they're first going to bomb the cities of the South, then they will put their ground forces into the oil areas to hold those, and then let the rest of the South rot, okay.
First of all, we need to take steps to try to assist that that kind of scenario never materializes, but they have no competent, in the South air protection whatsoever. I'm not suggesting how you get at that, technically, because it's not my bailiwick, but if they're totally vulnerable to aerial attack, and if they don't have communication security, those are the kinds of things we might --
MR. FOWLER: They don't even have radar at the airport. You know, that would be a dual-use kind of thing, that might be very useful. There is an interesting report that was issued yesterday by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, that did a South Sudan visit, that outlined a bunch of specific areas -- economic, communications, you know, agriculture, other things that might be done to strengthen South Sudan as an institution, as their governing institutions, their courts, but also -- (inaudible) -- that might act as a kind of deterrence to an easy action by the North, that might, I think, stabilize the situation.
SEN. KERRY: Let me stop you there for a minute and come down to a couple of the details here, then I want to try to understand or pin down. How many rebel groups are genuinely significant actors?
MR. PRENDEGAST: In Darfur?
SEN. FOWLER (?): Well, I should let John answer because he just did a report on "Rebels 101" -- but a relative handful. There's been a lot of fragmentation since the signing of the so-called "Darfur Peace Agreement" in May of 2006, but the key (audio break) are JEM, the Justice and Equality Movement; there's one faction of the Sudanese Liberation Movement, or Army, that has more political support than it does military support; and then there a faction of the -- another faction of the SLM that has more military, I think, weight than it does political weight.
So, there's three right there, plus the, kind of, former -- somewhat former rebels, Minni Minnawi, who signed the DPA. So, maybe a couple of others, but no more than a half dozen.
SEN. KERRY: How would you define their objectives?
MR. FOWLER (?): Well, I think that's a problem. This rebellion began -- as Tim said at the beginning, in response to this sense of marginalization -- not just a sense marginalization, a fact of marginalization, but without a clear political agenda. And as the rebels are fragmented -- which has been, let's be clear, a strategy of the government to break up the rebels, they have not had the ability to really create a coherent political agenda, or the capacity to put together an agenda or push an agenda.
At the same time, however, the substantive issues are not that mysterious -- and John referred to this earlier, they have to do with wealth, power, security, just as they do with regard to the South. That's the basic problem of Sudan, is the concentration of wealth and power in the center, to the exclusion of everyone else, and insecurity.
And the last thing with would say -- and John is itching to get in here, is that we have worked with partners in civil society to help give them a voice; to see what do Darfuri civilians want, what does peace look like to them? And that voice is getting more and more coherent. And we hope that as talks move forward -- under the auspices of the A.U.-U.N. joint mediator, Djibril Bassole, that those voices are heard as well, so that just having guns does not give you a seat at the table, that we look at the aspirations and the needs of the Darfuri population itself.
SEN. KERRY: This week the JEM and Sudanese -- the government, are actually in Qatar to engage in negotiations and create some kind of framework. Is that a viable strategy that can add to the larger process, or not?
You're shaking your head.
MR. GERSON: I'm not shaking my head. I'm not really prepared to talk about that.
SEN. KERRY: Okay.
MR. PRENDERGAST: Well, it's a beginning, you know. What I think is very, very helpful about this phase of kind of a non-comprehensive peace process for Darfur is that the Arab League has asserted itself in a way, and the Qataris are providing a pragmatic beginning for greater Arab participation -- Arab re-participation in (the) peace process.
Will this be the vehicle that brings them across the finish line? I do not believe that. But it will be -- it's something we can work with. And I think they're very willing to work with us on this. And I think what would be very, very important now is to have that envoy, or have someone within the administration until they have an envoy, be very closely liaisoning with the Qataris and with the special envoy, Bassole, talking about what are the -- to recreate, basically, the best parts of the effort that has brought about the CPA. Where there was leadership from the region, but then the United States played a strategic role, along with some other key powers that had influence inside Sudan. And we need to replicate that.
Doha alone, without our direct and active involvement, probably won't go anywhere. And I don't think the rebels particularly will have any (confidence ?) that that vehicle will do anything. But if there -- if it's a negotiated result of the negotiators, eventually, if you see what I'm saying, that there is a expansion of that vehicle -- and it could be in Doha, who where it will end being, but as long as the key actors are there at the table I think we've got the beginnings of something. I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
MR. GERSON: And I guess I'm slightly more skeptical because I think that it's pretty clear that the Doha process began as an attempt to avoid the indictments, okay -- to put something on the table so that they could --
SEN. KERRY: It's a part of their -- (inaudible) --
MR. GERSON: Right. Exactly.
At least some people in the Obama administration think the intensification, with Jones' engagement, okay, was in, you know, in the last few weeks has been specifically for that purpose -- to give ammunition to, kind of, supporters of Sudan so that they can support the deferment, you know, an Article 16 deferment. They use these very strategically.
I think it is good that the A.U. and the U.N. became more engaged, that it becomes a more -- (inaudible) -- process than it was initially. But, I don't know, I have a feeling that the U.S. is going to have to take a very strong leadership role with a, probably, kind of team that you're talking about, to avoid a fragmented international response, because they love new interlocutors --
SEN. KERRY: Right, right.
MR. GERSON: -- they love new negotiations. This is the strategy that's worked forever.
SEN. KERRY: And how does Chad figure in? How does a regional -- is there a regional context here that has to be factored in?
MR. PRENDERGAST: Huge. I mean, we're talking about, within the next few weeks, a likely assault by Khartoum-backed Chadian rebels on N'Djamena again, from a number of different locations from within Sudan and around the surrounding region.
The rebels -- Chadian rebels are now in Khartoum. They've had meetings -- (background noise) -- today with the security chief, Salah Abdullah Gosh, of the regime. And so the effort -- I think we will see, in the near future, a government -- U.S.-Sudanese government- backed effort to overthrow the government of Chad yet again, and a resulting escalation again, of course, of tit-for-tat.
MR. CARNEY: Can I, Mr. Chairman, just underscore something that was kind of in between what Michael and John said, and that is that there was skepticism about the so-called "Qatari initiative." Originally, it was a Arab League initiative and I think it was partly motivated by this Article 16 issue. So, the peace process and Article 16, they need to be delinked.
But the important thing is that Bassole, who's the U.N.-A.U. chief joint mediator, is -- that he's the focal point, not Qatar, and that there be one focal point on the Darfur talks. Now, one of the things that's going to be very important and will require, I think, an active role by the United States, working with others, is Bassole's mandate has to do Darfur, so that's addressing, kind of, the Darfur aspect, but this problem that we've discussed, of integrating -- resolving Darfur into the CPA, that doesn't seem to be in Bassole's portfolio. And, you know, the United States in particular, is positioned to make sure that that integration happens.
MR. WINTER (?): May I add a caveat, Mr. Chairman?
SEN. KERRY: -- (inaudible) -- go ahead.
MR. WINTER (?): John's absolutely right, this is a good beginning. But it is with the JEM, which is a relatively small portion of the ethnic makeup of Darfur. (Darfur ?) has to be a major part of this. But what has to be looked at is a way to leverage these talks and expand them. And that, indeed, is -- as all of us agree, I think, here, is going to require the kind of weight that the United States can bring to the situation.
SEN. KERRY: I mentioned in my opening comments the potential of a vote for separation towards 2011. Is a peaceful separation possible?
MR. GERSON: Certainly, the votes --
SEN. KERRY: The vote is possible. Is a peaceful separation possible?
MR. GERSON: Right. And it will be for separation, in large measure because of the way Khartoum has acted over the last four years. I think it may depend on what the other leverages are at the time on Khartoum. Certainly the South is a large territory with a substantial population that is prepared to defend itself if they're still spread-eagle in Darfur, and so forth.
I'm not sure what would happen militarily. What I am sure of is that some of the National Democratic Institute studies of popular perspectives on the South will show a vote for separation which is in the 96, 97, 98 percentile. And the only way that Khartoum has to avoid that, that is not violent, is the change the way it behaves with respect to the South and the rest of the country.
SEN. KERRY: The census has yet to be released, and also, I understand, some of the election process is behind. How risky and dangerous is that to where we're heading?
MR. GERSON: I guess the worst-case outcome -- and I'd be interested to know your view, but if they come in, if the census comes in with the South at less than 25 percent of the vote, that the -- the way it's reflected in the national assembly in the government would essentially allow the ruling party to change the constitution, elements of the CPA, and a lot of other things.
And I think there's been some statements -- you know, I don't know if they're helpful or not, by leaders in the South essentially saying, we're not going to accept any census outcome that puts us below a certain level. That's an odd kind of way to do a census. But it does strike me as a huge risk, in that because there are thresholds, that if you don't meet here, they have tremendous political implications.
MR. FOWLER (?): I think for background purposes, it's important to keep in mind that we're in this time-warp situation with the census, in large part because Khartoum did not provide its share of resources over a long period of time. So this has been severely delayed.
It's also the case that there are practical issues, in terms of the census, that were called into question -- you know, some accuracy in some locations. But the biggest thing is that there seems to have been clear intent to subvert the proper implementation of the census in certain key areas, like the Southern aspects -- the Southern population's aspects in Khartoum. There's a population of perhaps several million Southerners there.
Khartoum specifically would not allow the census to ask questions about ethnicity and religion and origin. And those were the kinds of questions that would identify the population as a Southern population in refuge or in displacement. And so there was a big battle over that. The South lost on that.
But what it does is it puts in real question in a lot of people's minds what that legitimate number would be? Is it possible to come up with a legitimate number given the process that Khartoum put in place.? And nobody thinks -- as far as I know, that it is.
SEN. KERRY: Can that process go forward, and can you avoid conflict if you don't have a revenue-sharing agreement?
MR. FOWLER (?): For me, I think it is possible. I think the some of the people that we heard some months back, saying, "If it isn't at least this number, we're going to war," basically. You know, I think we're by that at this point, at least point -- at least I hope we are by that at this point.
And I think, although, as somebody said a moment ago, this is the first time I've heard (of) this kind of a census, you know, a negotiation, to account for the real visible manipulations that did occur in the conduct of a sentence can produce -- if the parties want to, can result in something that's viable.
MR. WINTER: Mr. Chairman, I think what you've got here reminds me a little bit of what John -- the late John -- (inaudible) -- said during the negotiation phase, "that I gave up some of my all to make peace." Now, I think that the Sudanese, working with the U.N. and the AUC and ourselves, are able, we believe, to come up with the numbers that will overcome many of these problems, just as I think (IFIs ?), for one, will be capable of devising how we do constituencies in the absence of delimitations. I think that's been done elsewhere and should be able to come up with a method to do it in Sudan as well.
The key questions are rather is the North going to actually buckle down and treat Southerners as full citizens of Sudan? And are Southerners going to be able to perceive that, in time, to have (decent ?) elections this year and then an interesting referendum?
SEN. KERRY: Within that context, in terms of carrots and sticks, and cause and effect, the government of Southern Sudan is attempting to transform its fighting force -- the Sudan People's Liberation Army, into a modern military from a guerilla force. Do we have a role to play in that? Is that perhaps a lever? Can that help change the dynamics and equation? Should we provide lethal assistance?
MR. GERSON: We have a lot of role to play here, including aspects that were not -- however, it starts with the fact that -- you have to understand the kind of military the SPLA is: a very successful military on the ground. I used to spend a lot of time with them. I loved them dearly. It's an admirable crowd with a political vision. They weren't just thugs, okay. The vision of a new Sudan, which meant a new North as well as a new South, a new East and a new West -- everybody, everything.
This army was popularly supported, and as part of the peace process, the many, many militias that were supported by Khartoum against the South had to choose to be integrated into the military of the North or the military of the South. And because most of these militaries operated in the South -- were made up of Southerners whose forte, you know, was fighting against the SPLA -- had a negative track record and not necessarily a positive relationship with the civil population.
Now, what has happened, therefore, is, as a part of the implementation of these aspects of the peace agreement, some of these groups have been integrated into the SPLM -- I'm sorry, the SPLA. In some ways the SPLA today is not exactly the same SPLA that we had that was lean, mean and idealistic in the past. So, there are issues here. Some of them, in terms of the relationship with the population, are a problem.
There are also other problems. The demobilization program really didn't work, never really got off the ground. That still needs to be done, and some of us are engaged with the government in the South talking about this kind of issue.
It's also the case that these militias that were integrated into SPLA, in many cases, came in significant numbers. And also, before they were actually integrated, their commander went and said, okay, everybody who was lieutenant is now a major. And so they were integrated into a -- (inaudible) --. A whole mass of problems here that tie into demobilization -- right-sizing the military, budgeting properly for the military, all of these kind of aspects are all part of the issue.
MR. CARNEY: Can I just get one point --
SEN. KERRY: Let me -- as we do, let me just say, we have to wrap up in about five minutes because of my schedule, and I apologize for that. But what I'd like each of you to do, I'd like each of you to take a minute or two, just quickly to sort of pull together your summary of what you've heard and what you think is the agenda.
And as you do it, state, sort of, what our interests are. I'd like to hear that from each of you, as to -- so you underscore whatever steps there are we need to take, people can understand exactly why. And there are several different layers of interest, I think -- but, who wants to lead off?
Ambassador, go ahead.
MR. CARNEY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I think our interests in Sudan, first of all, start with security. It's been a long time -- 1969, that the first international terrorist representative landed in Khartoum to open his office. It was the late and unlamented Abu Nidal. And things went seriously downhill right after that.
Certainly the '90s when the Islamist movement permitted any regional terrorist group to go into Sudan, and when there were accomplices, before and after the fact, of the attempted assassination of Hosni Mubarak in neighboring Addis Ababa.
That has attenuated a good bit. At our behest, they booted Osama bin Laden out in May of 1996, and a number of these alphabet-soup groups from Palestine and Egypt, they booted out at the same time. They maintained to the end, however, that Hamas is a genuine organization, and, as nearly as I can tell, let Hamas continue active in Khartoum.
We have those interests in security. They have been attenuated somewhat because of the comprehensive peace agreement, because of the government of South Sudan's efforts to get the Lord's Resistance Army to come to terms with the government in Kampala, Uganda.
Our second interests, which are rather longer-term, are interests in economic development and prosperity. Sudan is a potential engine of prosperity for the subregion because it has water, it has land, it has oil, it has chrome, and it has gold, among other things.
And, finally, Mr. Chairman, I see our interests in good governance in Sudan and the realization of political and overall human rights. Those are my rubrics for our interests there. Why don't I stop with interests and let others go on to a summary?
SEN. KERRY: Well, if you like.
MR. GERSON: Let me make a couple of other of our interests.
Sudan, for years and years, was the largest single humanitarian emergency in the world -- in the numbers of not only dead, but the numbers of displaced were far more significant. And, of course, who is it that is the largest responder to those things too? So, there's an interest of that nature in there. So, it's humanitarian values and then perhaps even a money issue.
A second thing that I think is of key interest to, certainly, lots of us here is the issue of regional stability. And this is a hellaciously unstable region. If you look at Somalia, and you look at Chad, and you look at Sudan, and you look at Northern Uganda, and you look at Eritrea and Ethiopia, this is a swirling mass of tensions and, to a certain degree, violence. So the issue of what does Sudan bring to the table in the midst of this swirling of -- a swirling region; if you can, as it were, quiet the country down in the positive sense of the word? Regional stability is very important,
And I say lastly, I might mentioned the issue of preventing fragmentation. If we cannot implement the CPA we run the risk of the population of the South still maintaining the high ground because of the provisions of the CPA, which it hasn't -- (inaudible) -- Khartoum has.
Just saying, we're leaving. There's lots of consequences associated with that, and problems. But if you see that happen, then you may see the same things start to happen in Darfur, and so forth. It's like eating potato chips, you can't eat just one. So the potential of fragmenting the state entirely by non-legal -- (inaudible) -- so to speak, is another thing we'd like to avoid, I think.
SEN. KERRY: Fair enough.
MR. PRENDERGAST: Our bottom-line interests, I think, should be a peaceful, democratic Sudan. This is a country with a very rich political history, with a politically mature electorate and civil society.
And I think ultimately Sudan is different than any other country in Sub-Saharan Africa in that it has a major American constituency that is bipartisan, that comes from all walks of life, driven in part by the genocide in Darfur, in part by faith-based groups that have worked assiduously for decades on the Southern Sudan issue. This is different than any other place in the Continent.
So, national interest is malleable concept. You know, it can -- all kinds of different ingredients go into what we determine to be in our national interest. I think, because of that constituency, and because of what my colleagues have said in proceeding with respect to security and regional issues, I think it's in our national interest for the United States, for the Obama administration -- encouraged and pushed by Congress at times to do more, to take the lead in promoting peace in Sudan and the surrounding region.
SEN. KERRY: Jerry?
MR. FOWLER: Well, I would reiterate that and put it in a slightly different tone. I mean, we've got practical interests in Sudan and in the stability of Sudan, which both Tim and Roger have mentioned. We have a moral interest. I mean, as the president said, genocide is a stain on our souls. And it happens that addressing both of those interests, they coincide in this case because promoting stability, but also promoting our moral interests, means addressing the fundamental disparity between the center and the periphery that has led both to instability and to these massive crimes.
The second point that I would make -- going to your broader question about, kind of, summary, I would go back to what we were talking about, I think, at the beginning, and what you actually said in your opening, Mr. Chairman, about changing the dynamics. It's a negative dynamic right now. There is no question about it. I think -- as I said at great length earlier, I think that the ICC action is going to change the dynamics.
I think there will be some danger, and there needs to be attention paid by the Obama administration in the next days and weeks to make sure that the response of the government is not increased violence. But, I think that it does create the opportunity to change the dynamics in a positive way.
The second thing that changes the dynamics is, I think, the new administration. Mike was in the Bush administration, and I don't think there was anyone in that administration who cared more about this issue than he did. I think President Bush really cared about it.
But just the excitement that has come along with President Obama, especially in Africa, creates possibilities for American involvement and presidential engagement that haven't existed before. That's a game changer. That's a new dynamic. And I think those two things together -- the new administration and the ICC, do create a possibility of a new and more positive dynamic.
SEN. KERRY: Thank you, Jerry.
You want to wrap up?
MR. : Sure --
SEN. KERRY: -- (inaudible) --
MR. : Sure. No, I would strongly agree with Jerry. The thing that struck me from this conversation -- and maybe that I'd want to conclude with, is that whenever there are attempts to introduce something that might change the ground rules, that might change the game, there's always the complaint -- internally, externally, that it is going to destabilize things.
But the reality is that the stability we have now is deeply unjust. You know, the stability of Darfur is 2 million people in the camps, women being raped, and, you know, a way of life destroyed. And I'm afraid that the stability we have in the current CPA discussions is a stability of slow failure, and that that dynamic has to be changed as well. It's not, you know, that we have to sacrifice one for another, that one itself is also in jeopardy and in peril.
And so when we're talking about things like the ICC, like the new administration, I agree with you, -- (inaudible) -- standing in Africa that could really be used and employed in an effective way -- no-fly zones. I think these are the things we ought to be thinking about, not to -- they don't complicate the situation, they make progress possible.
SEN. KERRY: Well, I appreciate that statement. That is a good summary.
Let me just express our appreciation, as a committee, to all of you for being part of this discussion -- we could have, obviously gone on a little longer. But I think the heart of the issue has been well laid out on the table today and thoughtfully discussed. Let me try to just summarize a couple points if I can, from my perspective.
We can't have an impact on the choice that will be made by the ICC. That's going to happen. So we're going to have to react no matter what -- either to its not happening or its happening. Each has an effect, incidentally.
But it seems to me what we can do is effect the more, sort of, practical, hard-nosed assessments of the macro-picture here, which is what we've got to look at in larger terms, not get dragged, you know, into the -- how you react (or) don't you, but to really look at what our interests are and how we best meld those into a set of policy choices.
It seems to me that right now Darfur is beginning to become a symbol and a reality at the same time of a failed multilateralism, failed leadership, absence of capacity of moral nations to translate their outrage into a series of coherent steps that have a positive impact on the lives of innocent victims and citizens of another country.
We do have serious interests there, and I think you've well articulated them. We have, perhaps, even larger interests that weren't completely expressed, I think, in terms of the African Continent, and the lawlessness and failed-stateism that seems to have increased in recent years.
So I think this is a big test for us, for a lot of people. And I think, given the Obama presidency, that perhaps it's an even greater test in some ways. I had a meeting this morning with the secretary -- with Secretary Clinton, and I don't think I'm saying anything out of school when I emphasize her interest, and our mutual interest, in the concept of the no-fly zone, and in taking concrete steps now.
So, to the degree that anyone is listening, particularly Khartoum, I hope they will understand that there is a moment here -- no matter what happens at the ICC, there is a moment here to change the dynamics and to begin to move responsibly. I am absolutely confident that this administration is going to focus on this issue. I know this committee is, by virtue of the fact we are here today.
And this is only a beginning. And I personally am interested in this no-fly zone concept, as well as in the more rapid fulfillment of our obligations to the UNAMID, and to the deployment of the UNAMID and to helicopters and vehicles and other things necessary.
So, I hope the players in Darfur, in the South, in the North, all understand that there is going to be a very different effort to galvanize action over the course of the next months and year. And this is a moment for serious people to buckle down and find some serious responses.
We hope, obviously, that Russia and China, as we engage in different ways -- the secretary will be leaving for China on Sunday, these are all parts of the larger mosaic of our relationship, as we go forward here, in an increasingly interconnected, and increasingly challenged world.
And so we all have major obligations to try to find our ways through this and we're going to spend some time trying to do that. So, I thank my colleagues. I particularly thank Russ Feingold, as chair of the committee. He's put a lot of time into this issue and I know he's going to continue to focus on it, as will the committee as a whole.
But, we thank you for your contributions today. I particularly thank you for your many years of effort on these fronts, and your experience and your wisdom are important and helpful to us and we intend to continue to reach out to you. And I certainly -- and I think I'll leave the record open for a week in the event that any other colleagues want to submit any questions to any of you to fill out the record here.
But, we thank you very much for being part of this day. And I should say I was an admirer of a number of those speeches that you undertook. You were eloquent and sometimes not always to our advantage, but -- (laughter) -- nevertheless, I have great respect for it, and I thank you.
SEN. KERRY: So, we stand adjourned.