Monday, October 19, 2009

Initial thoughts on the US Sudan policy

I wish I could have deep profound disagreements with the newly released Sudan policy summary (I don't see any link to the full document, guess the incentives are a secret (oatmeal raisin cookies or snickerdoodles?)).  But the document is a "satisfy most" document and so largely unobjectionable.  If you disagree it's largely because you have  some constituency that disagrees, and as a lone academic I have no constituency, so I can't disagree with perfectly reasonable policy document.

But... Foreign policy as business strategy.... ugh.
"Each quarter, the interagency at senior levels will assess a variety of indicators of progress or of deepening crisis, and that assessment will include calibrated steps to bolster support for positive change and to discourage backsliding. Progress toward achievement of the strategic objectives will trigger steps designed to strengthen the hands of those implementing the changes. Failure to improve conditions will trigger increased pressure on recalcitrant actors."
Why does this read like something my colleagues in the management department (the strategy people) would put together.... sounds like Google Labs....

And viability police APB:
"Strategic Objective II: Implementation of the CPA that results in a peaceful post-2011 Sudan or an orderly transition to two separate and viable states at peace with each other."
Then the word viability is never mentioned, so maybe I'm paranoid but did Gration insist on inserting it there just to tweak my nose?  Or is there a lengthy discussion of how to measure viability in the secret document?  Maybe Jeremy Weinstein has been working on that?

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