The Cable

The White House to send Susan Rice, Colin Powell, others to South Sudan’s independence celebration

The White House announced today that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice will lead the country's delegation to South Sudan on July 9 to attend a ceremony marking the country's Declaration of Independence.  She will be joined by former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Other members of the delegation include Rep. Donald Payne (D- N.J.), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights; Johnnie Carson, assistant secretary of State for African Affairs; Princeton Lyman, the U.S. special envoy to Sudan; Brooke Anderson, deputy national security advisor; Gen. Carter Ham, commander of the U.S. Africa Command; Donald Steinberg, deputy administrator for USAID; Barrie Walkley, the consul general in Juba; and Ken Hackett, the president of Catholic Relief Services.

Notably absent from the delegation: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She was initially scheduled to make the trip, but the Washington Post reported last month that security concerns might prevent her from doing so.

Franklin Graham, an evangelical leader, will also be in attendance. He was supposed to travel with Sarah Palin, but Palin also canceled her plans to attend due to what she said were "scheduling problems."   

Southerners backed independence in a January referendum -- though since then clashes along the border with the north have led to growing fears that violence could escalate. Tensions between north and south Sudan are still high over the issues of oil revenue sharing and what's to become of Abyei, a disputed region on the border.

And today the Harvard-based Satellite Sentinel Project released images taken July 4 showing what appears to be an 80-car convoy of Sudanese military forces traveling through the disputed border region of Southern Kordofan. 73,000 people have fled fighting there since June.

The U.N. Security Council will meet July 13 to discuss admitting South Sudan to the international body, making it the first state since Montenegro in 2006 to become a U.N. member.

The Cable

The 2012 Horse Whisperers

It's officially summer, and the GOP presidential campaign is heating up. Tim Pawlenty is planning more stumping in Iowa, Michele Bachmann has now officially entered the race, and multiple potential candidates are waiting in the wings -- preparing to enter the fray if the leading contenders stumble. And though all the pundits have proclaimed that this election will be dominated by talk of the economy and jobs, there has been a surprising amount of foreign-policy chatter in the first few months -- even though the major Republican candidates are still forming their brain trusts and their foreign-policy identities.

So who's whispering in the ear of the front-runners? Who's advising them of the sound position to take for an electorate both war weary and yet concerned about national security? Of the four main candidates right now, only Jon Huntsman can creditably claim to be a foreign-policy expert -- and he's looking like a realist. Mitt Romney is trying to balance his talk of renewed American primacy with his realization that the country is both tired of unlimited interventions and cash-strapped. Pawlenty is staking out his ground as a hawk but doesn't want to be tagged with the neoconservative label. Bachmann is also sounding a hawkish note, taking the mantle from Sarah Palin in pushing the Tea Party's isolationist impulses toward an aggressive national security agenda.

Read the rest of The 2012 Horse Whisperers here: