Jonathon Low and Matthew Jordan's recent letter proposes befriending the terrorist regime of Sudan. Until recently, it hosted Osama bin Laden and still continues to permit international terrorist training camps within its borders. In addition to being on the state sponsors of terrorism list, the northern Khartoum government of Sudan terrorizes its own people by waging a brutal civil war that has resulted in genocide, enslavement and forced displacement of the southern Sudanese.
As the world's only superpower and leader of the war on terror, the United States has the ability to prevent terrorism, both on the international front and within countries. Instead of engaging the Sudanese government, which only condones the atrocious behavior, the United States must employ a tough strategy of pressures and incentives to force a peace settlement. By continually breaking cease-fires and attacking humanitarian relief sites, Khartoum has proven itself to be untrustworthy. Clearly, the proposed policy, as well as the current U.S. policy, do not provide the necessary enforcement mechanisms to deal with such a rogue regime. The United States must provide a credible threat of retaliation in order for Khartoum to see the benefits of peace. This retaliation should include implementing no-fly zones, military targeting and assassinations of terrorist cells and increased economic sanctions. If pressures are not backed by these threats, Khartoum will only continue its acts of genocide and displacement. Using the revenues from the oil they take from the south, Khartoum is able to spend $1.5 million a day on their military campaign, perpetuating the idea that they can eventually win the war. We agree with Low and Jordan that peace is the primary objective in Sudan; however, a policy engaging terrorists and alienating their victims will not facilitate the changes necessary for peace. In order for Khartoum to realize that peace is the only option, the United States must adopt a tough policy towards Sudan.