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US Intervention with Genocide: Case Study of Rwanda Genocide

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Master's thesis

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The prevention of genocide is achievable, with a committed United States leading the effort. The U.S. must embrace the reality that a failure to responsibly intervene when genocide conditions surface does not absolve it from future intervention. Rather, a failure to prevent genocide almost certainly guarantees future involvement, after millions of innocent lives are lost. In the course of a hundred days in 1994 the Hutu government of Rwanda and its extremist allies virtually succeeded in exterminating the countrys Tutsi minority. It was the fastest, most efficient killing spree of the twentieth century. The Rwanda genocide was a carefully planned campaign to rid the country of the Tutsis, thus ensuring Hutu rule and influence for the foreseeable future. The warning signs were early, evident and pointed to an increasing unstable situation capable of sliding into genocide. The United States understood the conditions in Rwanda prior to and during the genocide, but the United States officials decided against taking a leading role in confronting the slaughter in Rwanda. Rather, US officials confined themselves to public statements, diplomatic overtures, and initiatives for a ceasefire. The US did use its influence, however, at the United Nations, but did so to discourage a UN response. In wake of mounting evidence and international media coverage, the US finally launched substantial operations in July 1994, in a supporting role-to assist humanitarian relief efforts for those displaced by the genocide. In retrospect, if the US responsibly intervened early, the horrific outcome could have been altered, In future scenarios, the US must lead and bring all national elements of power to bear to prevent genocide. The United States, as the world superpower, must commit to all necessary action to prevent acts of genocide across the globe.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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