Gration repeatedly clashed with Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., who was pushing a harder line, during the Administration's policy review. So Darfur activists held their breath as the Obama Administration announced its long awaited "Sudan Strategy" this week. The Administration presented a united front, with Gration, Rice, and Secretary of State Clinton at the podium. The officials stressed a "menu of incentives and disincentives." Each viewpoint seemed to get part of the loaf.
Activists gave the policy tepid support. More than anything, they seemed relieved that talk of pressure and accountability was still in the mix. But that is actually tough to know. The details of the policy are in a "secret annex."
As a paper, the policy is adequate, one prominent activist stressed. Unfortunately, the old maxim people are policy will hold true. As the "Special Envoy for Sudan will play the leading role in pursuing" Obama's Sudan policy, it's going to be hard to hide the cookie jar.
The regime in Khartoum has seen special envoys come and go. Sudan policy has been reviewed and re-reviewed. The country remains in crisis. To be honest, the best policy might fail. But unless Sudan receives top-level attention --the commander-in-chief-- failure is assured. What's the chance of that?
Cross-posted from Rep. Royce's Foreign Intrigue Blog