After the Obama administration rolled out its much anticipated Sudan Policy Review in mid-October, activists praised the content of the review, but adopted a “wait-and-see” attitude as to whether or not the policy recommendations would be implemented. Well, they’ve waited. And after yesterday’s Congressional testimony from U.S. Sudan Envoy Gen. Scott Gration, they are not too happy with what they have seen.
John Norris at Enough says that Gration’s testimony suggests that “the administration has not actually done credible planning on incentives, pressures or benchmarks at a time when Sudan seems to be lurching back toward a war.” Sam Bell of the Genocide Intervention Network says, “After hearings in the Senate and House of Representatives and the public release of an Administration policy, we still haven’t heard what specific benchmarks Special Envoy Gration is using to measure progress in Sudan.”
Both Norris and Bell are referring to somewhat shocking revelations yesterday that there apparently is no ready-set list of potential pressures or incentives to compel Sudan to become a more reliable partner for peace. The thing is, when policy makers released the Sudan Policy Review, they made much about a so-called “classified annex” that contained, in the words of Secretary Clinton, “a menu of incentives and disincentives, political and economic, that we will be looking to, to either further progress or to create a clear message that the progress we expect is not occurring.”
Activists seized on this statement as evidence that the administration was prepared to adopt a harder-line against Sudan should that become neccesary. Apparently, though, the classified annex does not actually exist. From the Sudan Tribune:
“There is no annex,” Mr. Gration insisted when pressed by Rep. Smith, though he did assent to give a briefing. “I’m telling you that I’ve never seen one. The only thing I’ve seen is the classified working papers that are part of the NSC [National Security Council].”
For more evidence of policy incoherence, watch this painful exchange between Gration and Senator Sam Brownback. (h/t Enough)