Structuring Intervention Decisions to Prevent Genocide and Mass Atrocities
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Drawing on techniques from decision analysis, psychology, and negotiation analysis, we highlight a general approach to assessing genocide prevention decisions that we believe could provide decision makers with additional insight, consistency, efficiency, and defensibility. We argue that the use of a consistent decision-making framework would facilitates the comparison and review of choices, with significant clarity gained through the simple act of developing a common language for the key decision elements and placing considerations into an agreed upon context and order. The consequences of alternative actions can then be evaluated in terms of their ability to achieve the identified values, collectively determining the overall benefits, costs, and risks of proposed actions. Properly used, a decision-aiding framework has the potential to improve the quality of intervention deliberations, laying the groundwork for a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the threats posed to American values and interests using a common language for analysis that facilitates input and involvement from all key parties.