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Genocide prevention enters US military thinking

The United States has launched a high-level initiative to make its military more ready and able to respond to potential mass killings in future, the Wall Street Journal reports.

A senior Department of Defense official told the WSJ that the project, which is at an early stage, would help develop "a complete set of options that the leadership can consider in the preventive area before it comes to sending in the military, or not sending in the military."

The emerging doctrine is a blueprint for an interventionist foreign policy that places such ideas as "responsibility to protect" on a par with the principles of realpolitik, the paper says.

A tight-knit group of academics, policy makers and military officers have been lobbying the Pentagon to embrace a new 160-page handbook that details, step by step, how the US military can respond to mass atrocities, ethnic cleansing and genocide.

In the context of US’s role in the UN-sanctioned intervention in Libya, their efforts are paying off, with top US commanders turning to their work, the WSJ says.

And the idea is already finding its way into US military strategy: the Army Operating Concept, a document that envisions how the US army will fight in the next decade and a half, says that the service "must be prepared to conduct mass-atrocity response operations" as one of its core tasks.

See the WSJ’s report here

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