Richard Armitage
Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State

What is to be done in Darfur?

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Darfur needs a bigger U.S. presence, Armitage says.

Richard Armitage

Richard Armitage was the 13th United States Deputy Secretary of State, serving from 2001 to 2005. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and then after the fall of Saigon moved to Washington D.C. to work as a consultant for the United States Department of Defense, which sent him to Tehran and Bangkok.

Throughout the late 70s and early 80s, Armitage worked as an aide and foreign policy advisor to politicians including Senator Bob Dole and President-elect Ronald Reagan. When Reagan was elected, Armitage was appointed to the Department of Defense.  In the 1990s, Armitage worked in the private sector before being confirmed as Deputy Secretary of State with the election of George W. Bush in 2001. He left the post in 2005.

Armitage was educated at the United States Naval Academy. He is an avid bodybuilder, and speaks many languages, including Vietnamese.


Question: Do you have a strategy for Darfur?

Armitage:    Yeah.  I’m afraid nothing very meaningful will happen in Darfur unless the United States has a small presence.  And I’m not talking about necessarily carrying rifles and separating the combatants; but sort of a headquarters outfit.  The United States has a way of coalescing efforts, and people take it seriously when the United States gets involved.  And I’m one of those who thinks we should be involved.  But there are plenty of others with rifles who could separate the combatants; but I think without our sort of action forcing an event, nothing meaningful will happen