A. U.S. GOVERNMENT ACCOMMODATION OF OTHER STATES’ PREFERENCES
At the final decision point, the USG did not achieve its initial goal of establishing an ICT for Rwanda through ICTY-Expanded, raising questions about why the superpower compromised.
Two political factors, both mentioned above, caused the USG to shift its support to ICT-Tied. One was that some UNSC permanent members, notably France and Russia, opposed an institution that might lead to the creation of a permanent international criminal court. Another was that some states, including Rwanda, favored ICT-Tied over ICTY-Expanded as being more appropriate for dealing with the genocide. However, these states’ influence on the USG’s overall policy should not be overstated given that the USG held only a weak initial preference for ICTY-Expanded over ICT-Tied. The USG’s primary political and pragmatic objective was ensuring that other powerful states would vote and provide financial and administrative resources for the establishment of a relatively low-cost (in terms of diplomacy and finances) ICT through the UNSC that the USG could influence. If the USG had pursued its initial preference for ICTY-Expanded, other UNSC permanent members might have voted against it, blocking its creation. In that case, multiple states may have pursued isolated prosecution of genocidaires under competing assertions of “universal jurisdiction,” thus fomenting discord over jurisdictional claims to suspects, witnesses, and evidence, further delaying and driving up the cost of a post-genocide transitional justice solution. The effect of this chaotic scheme would have been reduced efficiency, legitimacy, and impact of whichever transitional justice solution, if any, had been established. Furthermore, the USG might also have risked the political capital it needed from the other UNSC permanent members to address broader matters of international peace and security, such as its desire to restore Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power in Haiti in 1994.255 Therefore, between the two options (ICTY-Expanded and ICT- Tied), neither of which conflicted with the USG’s interests, the USG ultimately favored the one that most of the other UNSC permanent members preferred. To be clear, the implication is not that other states compelled the world’s sole superpower to act against its preferences. The USG’s eventual decision to back an option with strong support from others in the international community, without expending crucial American political capital, ensured that the ICTR would be established through the UNSC’s Chapter VII powers and would receive support from and the cooperation of other powerful states and Rwanda.