Domestic constraints on American foreign policy : a case study of the 1994 Rwandan genocide / by Michelle M. Brazier.
In the spring of 1994 a government-sponsored genocide took place in the east central African nation of Rwanda as Hutu extremists sought the systematic slaughter of minority Tutsis. In merely one hundred days upwards of one million people were killed. Yet the response of the international community was unimpressive to say the least. This study focuses on American policy during the Rwandan genocide and attempts to understand how a country like the United States, predicated on certain values and beliefs, was essentially a bystander while genocide took place, despite being a party to the United Nations convention banning genocide. Fearful that terming the atrocities genocide would demand a response as dictated by the Genocide Convention, the Clinton Administration refused to do so until the genocide was practically over. A number of domestic constraints influenced American policy to the point that the US refused to act, despite possessing information stating that genocide was occurring. These constraints included the fallout from US involvement in Somalia; the introduction of a new peacekeeping doctrine, Presidential Decision Directive 25, in May 1994; and other issues occupying the Clinton Administration's agenda, including Bosnia and Haiti. By examining these constraints it is hoped that some light will be shed on why the US acted as it did during the clearest example of genocide since the Holocaust.
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