What is the current situation in South Sudan and what contributed to its emergence? What kind of threat to the country, its people and the overall region does this situation pose?
SOC300 Honors Case Profile (400 points)I. OverviewII. Case AssessmentIn your assessment, after reading the case material, you should consider:2. What are the U.S. policy options in this case, and what are their advantages and disadvantages?4. Who are Salva Kiir and Riek Machar and what is the basis of their disagreement?6. What is the significance of oil to South Sudan and to this conflict specifically?III. Main Concepts in the Case
A responsibility to protect (R2P)
Weak or failed states
You will be one of five members of the National Security Council (NSC) who advises the president about security developments on a global level, and it is your job to decide whether American interests are involved and/or threatened as situations arise around the world. In this case, regardless of the role you choose, you are to write a three-page paper assessing the economic, military and humanitarian situations in South Sudan. Your paper will be numbered and divided into three sections in which you decide: (2) Does the U.S. have a responsibility to protect (R2P) the people of South Sudan?This is a project in which you choose one of the five NSC positions listed below and, based on the three questions above, recommend whether the president should intervene in South Sudan. ØIf you choose to be the secretary of defense, you are to assess the likely implications of U.S. military involvement, both for the immediate crisis and for the United States’ overall strategic position in the region under review.ØIf you choose to be the national security advisor (NSA), you are to make certain a full range of viable policy options has been articulated, coordinate those options and make certain that the prospects for success and failure have been identified for the president.ØI will hold two conference calls in the early weeks of the course to discuss this assignment and answer questions, so it is imperative that you try to attend these. If you absolutely cannot do so, I will record the calls so you can refer to them for any clarification. Rival South Sudanese factions have been fighting a brutal civil war since the end of 2013, rendering government institutions completely dysfunctional. Political rivalries between President Salva Kiir (from the Dinka ethnic group) and former Vice President Riek Machar (from the Nuer group) have plunged the country into a horrific conflict marked by ethnically targeted attacks.The president has asked the NSC for options on whether and how the United States could pursue a humanitarian intervention in or around South Sudan. NSC officials will need to consider the pressure on the United States to act, including the responsibility to protect (R2P), as well as the significant costs, benefits and risks of a unilateral or multilateral intervention.VI. Roles
Vice President of the United States
Secretary of State
Secretary of Defense
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
National Security Advisor
There is no right or wrong way to write up your research, but the better prepared you are, the more likely you will be able to advance a position effectively, and the more you and your classmates will get out of the experience.
Be patient but do not hold back from sharing your perspective, either with me or with other members of your class.
Ensure that the consequences of various decisions are carefully weighed.
Where appropriate, you might want to find common ground with other NSC members by sharing your research and conclusions.
You cannot win or lose in this assignment. Instead, you should aim to offer a well-reasoned articulation of your position while making concessions and adjustments where you believe they are warranted.
Your individual grade on this assignment will depend exclusively on the three pages you write about your assessment of the situation and the quality of your recommendations to the president about whether he should take action.
VII. Interagency Process (The National Security Council)
Whether it aims to meet an acute national security threat or to advance a long-term objective, a successful foreign policymaking process starts with the clear articulation of U.S. interests and goals. The NSC plays a critical role in this effort by serving as the president’s principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and cabinet officials. Its mission is to help the president effectively use a variety of instruments, whether military or diplomatic, to forge policies that advance U.S. national security objectives. The NSC and its staff try to even-handedly manage the policymaking process so that the president can receive a full spectrum of advice from the agencies involved in national security.Vice President The Department of State maintains the U.S. diplomatic presence around the world, conducting foreign relations and using an on-the-ground perspective to generate country-specific knowledge. As head of the department, the secretary draws on this knowledge to present an authoritative view of the United States’ bilateral relationships, the relationships between foreign countries and the behavior and interests of foreign governments.Secretary of Defense The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) is the highest-ranking member of the U.S.
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