MARO-Related Developments

The White House, April 23, 2012: President Obama announced his approval of the PSD-10 recommendations to strengthen the US government's anti-atrocity capabilities. That August 2011 directive called for development of military doctrine to halt mass atrocities, as the US military has done by adopting the substance of the MARO Project's military planning handbook. Additionally, the Directive called for an interagency Atrocities Prevention Board (APB), which was officially launched on April 23. The President said that these steps have been taken to implement a whole of government approach to prevent mass atrocities and genocide, which he called a “core national security interest and core moral responsibility” of the US.

The White House, January 5, 2012: The Obama Administration released new strategic guidance that includes mass atrocity prevention and response as part of the U.S. Armed Forces primary missions. Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense states that “DoD will continue to develop joint doctrine and military response options to prevent and, if necessary, respond to mass atrocities.”

Congress, December 5, 2011: A bipartisan group of 29 senators expressed support in a letter to President Obama for developing the necessary tools for successful mass atrocity prevention and response and also welcomed the administration's PSD-10 issued in August 2011. Senator Chris Coons and Senator Susan Collins led this effort by the Senate.

The White House, August 4, 2011: President Obama issued a new Presidential Directive on Mass Atrocities today, Presidential Study Directive-10 (PSD-10), which aims to strengthen U.S. efforts to prevent mass atrocities. The Presidential Directive establishes an interagency Atrocities Prevention Board to develop atrocity prevention strategies and coordination with U.S. allies. Additionally, a Presidential Proclamation prevents entry into the U.S. of persons involved with crimes against humanity. Co-chairs of the Genocide Prevention Task Force, Madeleine K. Albright and William S. Cohen, "welcome with enthusiasm" the new directive and believe that "this is a forward-thinking plan that if fully implemented should eventually save countless lives."

United States Army Functional Concept for Protection: 2016-2028 TRADOC Pam 525-3-5, October 13, 2010: The U.S. Army Functional Concept for Protection addresses MARO in its discussion of full-spectrum operations. "Future Army forces must be prepared to conduct MARO as part of full-spectrum operations. In support of mass atrocity response operations, the future force must have the capability to protect a certain group (the victims) from another group (the perpetrators)."

United States Army Operating Concept: 2016-2028 TRADOC Pam 52 5-3-1, August 19, 2010: For the first time ever, the Army Operating Concept specifically addresses MARO and references Mass Atrocity Response Operations: A Military Planning Handbook. "Future Army forces must be prepared to conduct a mass atrocity response operation (MARO) as part of full-spectrum operations. MARO depends on the detection and prevention of genocide, and if prevention fails, seeks to halt the violence as quickly as possible to set conditions for lasting peace."

U.S. Senate, August 5, 2010: United States Senators Feingold and Collins introduce a non-binding resolution on the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities. The resolution recognizes that the prevention of genocide and mass atrocity is a national interest of the United States. It also urges the President to review current capacities to respond to genocide and analyze current doctrine and training required to respond to a mass atrocity.

The White House, July 11, 2010:  President Obama, in a statement commemorating the 15th anniversary of the genocide at Srebrenica said, “We have a sacred duty to remember the cruelty that occurred here, and to prevent such atrocities from happening again...And we have a responsibility to future generations all over the globe to agree that we must refuse to be bystanders to evil; whenever and wherever it occurs, we must be prepared to stand up for human dignity.”

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum: June 4, 2010: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Statement on Obama Administration's Proactive Stance on the Prevention of Mass Atrocities and Genocide.

The White House, May 27, 2010: The White House releases the 2010 National Security Strategy which contains strong language on the potential need to use military means to prevent and respond to genocide and mass atrocities.

Group of Experts on NATO, May 17, 2010: Analysis and Recommendations of the Group of Experts on a New Strategic Concept for NATO is released. “NATO 2020: Assured Security; Dynamic Engagement,” recognizes the potential for NATO to be called upon to respond to genocide and recommends that NATO clarify its position on supporting the UN in such instances.

The White House, April 7, 2010: On April 7, 2010, in a statement marking the 16th anniversary of the start of the Rwandan genocide, President Obama highlighted the importance of preventing mass atrocities and genocide, stating: “It is not enough to say 'never again.' We must renew our commitment and redouble our efforts to prevent mass atrocities and genocide.”

U.S. Department of State, April 7, 2010: Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide,” Statement from Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Susan D. Page, U.S. Department of State., April 7, 2010: Ambassador Rice comments on the 16th Anniversary of Rwandan Genocide.

The Huffington Post, March 16, 2010: Taking On the Enablers of Mass Atrocities,” by Julia Fromholz and Ann-Louise Colgan, Human Rights First.

Foreign Policy, February 26, 2010: “How Genocide Became a National Security Threat,” by Michael Abramowitz, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Lawrence Woocher, Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention at the United States Institute of Peace.

U.S. Senate, February 2, 2010: In a public hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair included mass atrocities in his annual assessment of threats to U.S. national security, stating that “a number of countries in Africa and Asia are at significant risk for a new outbreak of mass killing...Among these countries, a new mass killing or genocide is most likely to occur in southern Sudan.”

U.S. Department of Defense, February 1, 2010: The Quadrennial Defense Review Report submitted by the Department of Defense to Congress on February 1, 2010, addresses the need to militarily plan for, “[p]reventing human suffering due to mass atrocities or large-scale natural disasters abroad.” The QDR submitted in 2006 included no such references.

House Foreign Affairs Committee, July 29, 2009: Professor William Flavin of PKSOI testified to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Professor Flavin, along with Ambassador Susan Rice, spoke to the committee on the “New Challenges for International Peacekeeping Operations.” Professor Flavin’s remarks included a section on the MARO Project, its objectives, and how it could fill a gap between the 2006 National Security Strategy and current U.S. Army doctrine.