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Case descriptions - final

Case descriptions - final - Case Descriptions PSC 124 Case...

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Case Descriptions PSC 124 Case Briefing Project Northrup – Fall 2009 Below you will find a brief description of each of the international political issues that your Case Briefing Teams will be analyzing. These descriptions are designed to provide a basic context for the case. Remember that the job of the teams is NOT to take a position, but rather to do a thorough job of describing and analyzing the case. Be sure to refer to the project assignment sheet as you proceed in order to understand exactly what the expectations are for the brief. Your instructors will be working with you in discussion sections to help guide your research and your writing. 1. The Humanitarian Crisis in Darfur According to Amnesty International, “The crisis in Darfur, in western Sudan, has led to some of the worst human rights abuses imaginable, including systematic and widespread murder, rape, abduction and forced displacement. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have died as a result of both deliberate and indiscriminate attacks, and more than 2 million civilians have been forced to flee from their homes. The situation on the ground has been plagued with renewed violence, Janjawid attacks, and aerial bombing by the Government of Sudan's military. Currently, the Government of Sudan is resisting the UN Security Council-mandated peacekeeping operation that is desperately needed.” There is both internal and external pressure on key international powers, including the U.S., to intervene in some way to stop mass killing, starvation and displacement of those residing in this western Sudan region. At the same time, Sudan is a sovereign country with the right to govern its own internal affairs. An additional complication is that there are oil reserves in the area. What is the nature of the crisis in Darfur? What are the issues and concerns that international powers must take into account when deciding on their policy for this region? 2. Dilemma of Iran’s Nuclear Program The UN Security Council has called on Iran to halt its uranium enrichment activities and has applied sanctions on Iran in light of its refusal to stop its enrichment program. Iran argues that UN Security Council resolutions against its nuclear program are unlawful, and it claims that international law gives it the right to possess nuclear enrichment technology. According to a May 2009 NYT article, “In February 2009, in their first appraisal of Iran's nuclear program since President Obama took office, atomic inspectors found that Iran recently understated by a third how much uranium it has enriched, United Nations officials said. The officials also declared for the first time that the amount of uranium that Tehran had now amassed -- more than a ton -- was sufficient, with added purification, to make an atom bomb.” Why does the US, as well other countries in the international community, have such strong concerns about an Iranian nuclear weapons capability? What is the Obama administration’s current approach to the problem?
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