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U.S. Genocide Task Force Recommends Military Prep

A blue-ribbon U.S. panel on preventing genocide proposed a designated military capability.

The Genocide Prevention Task Force, operating under the aegis of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the American Academy of Diplomacy and the U.S. Institute of Peace, published its findings Monday.

At a news conference, task force co-chairs Madeleine Albright and William Cohen, the Clinton administration’s secretary of state and defense secretary, emphasized the need, at the last resort, for a prepared military response to genocide.

“The prevention of genocide is not simply a moral issue, although it is a compelling moral issue,” Cohen said. “It is a national security one.”

Cohen cited the danger to international stability posed by failed states in the wake of genocide.

In addition to “developing military guidance on genocide prevention and response and incorporating it into doctrine and training,” the report also recommended “creating an interagency Atrocities Prevention Committee at the National Security Council to analyze threats of genocide and mass atrocities and consider appropriate preventive action” and “investing $250 million in new funds for crisis prevention and response, with a portion of this available for urgent activities to prevent or halt emerging genocidal crises.”

Noting that the task force had worked closely with a number of members of President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team, Albright said she had hopes that genocide prevention “would have a very strong input from an Obama administration.”

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