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Bigger US role battling genocide?

A task force's findings, urging US leadership, may dovetail with ideas of Obama administration.

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Susan Rice: Obama's pick to be the US ambassador to the United Nations has advocated a tough response, including US military intervention if necessary, to prevent genocide.

Jeff Haynes/Reuters

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A genocide prevention task force concludes that US leadership, early warnings, preventive diplomacy, and coordinated international action are crucial elements of any effort to prevent the kind of mass killings that have ravaged Sudan's Darfur and the Congo.

That may sound like another well-meaning Washington study destined to gather dust. But the fate of this task force – led by two Clinton administration foreign-policy heavyweights, Madeleine Albright and William Cohen – might be a little brighter. One reason: The conclusion of its year-long labor corresponds with President-elect Obama's naming to his national-security team a diplomat who has advocated swift action when genocide threatens.

Susan Rice, Mr. Obama's pick to be the US ambassador to the United Nations, had experience with the Rwanda genocide of the 1990s during her years as a chief Africa diplomat under the Clinton administration. Since then – most recently as chief foreign-policy adviser to candidate Obama – Ms. Rice has advocated a tough response, including US military intervention if necessary, to prevent mass killings of unprotected populations.

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