New Weight in Army Manual On Stabilizing War-Torn Areas
The Army has drafted a new operations manual that elevates the mission of stabilizing war-torn nations, making it equal in importance to defeating adversaries on the battlefield.
Military officials described the new document, the first new edition of the Army’s basic comprehensive doctrine since 2001, as a major development that draws on the hard-learned lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan, where initial military successes gave way to long, grueling struggles to establish control.
It is also an illustration of how far the Pentagon has moved beyond the Bush administration’s initial reluctance to use the military to support “nation-building” efforts when it came into office.
But some influential officers are already arguing that the Army still needs to put actions behind its new words, and they have raised searching questions about whether the Army’s military structure, personnel policies and weapons programs are consistent with its doctrine. The manual describes the United States as facing an era of “persistent conflict” in which the U.S. military will often operate among civilians in countries where local institutions are fragile and efforts to win over a wary population are vital.
Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, the commander of the Army’s Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, began briefing lawmakers on the document on Thursday. In an interview, he called it a “blueprint to operate over the next 10 to 15 years.”
Gambino Family Hierarchy Indicted in Large Mob Sweep
Federal and state authorities early Thursday began rounding up scores of accused organized crime figures on a series of indictments charging murder, racketeering, construction extortions and other crimes in the largest such sweep in recent memory, law enforcement officials said.
More than 60 people — among them the entire Gambino family hierarchy and reputed figures from the Genovese and Bonanno families — are named in two indictments, along with union and construction industry officials, the law enforcement officials said.
By about 10 a.m., 52 people were already in custody, including the family’s acting underboss, Domenico Cefalu, and consigliere, Joseph Corozzo, the officials said. The acting boss, who prosecutors identified as John D’Amico, known as Jackie the Nose, was not yet in custody and several officials said he was believed to be on vacation.
The arrests were announced this morning at a news conference at the office of U.S. Attorney Benton J. Campbell in Brooklyn.
The charges, which are being brought in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn and state Supreme Court in Queens, also include seven murders — three dating back more than a quarter century — along with racketeering, extortion and state gambling charges, officials said.
America Intensifies Efforts To Restore Peace in Kenya
The American government is playing an increasingly active role in trying to restore peace in Kenya, holding hearings in Washington on Thursday and threatening to prohibit some Kenyan politicians from entering the United States.
A spokesman for the American Embassy in Kenya said Thursday that the embassy had written to 10 politicians and businessmen warning that they and their relatives would be denied entry into the United States if the embassy determined that they had instigated or participated in violence.
More than 1,000 people have been killed in Kenya since a disputed election in December, and human rights groups have said much of the violence was organized. The American Embassy is warning people in the government and the opposition, and is trying to use the issue of visas to press the leaders to act responsibly and support efforts to reach a political compromise.
“We consider the violence as the most immediate issue to deal with,” said T.J. Dowling, the embassy spokesman. “We wanted to let these people know that we are scrutinizing their acts and we will take action accordingly.”
A Global Anti-Smoking Project
Tobacco could kill up to a billion people during the 21st century, as cigarette sales soar in poor and middle-income countries even as they drop in wealthier ones, says a report issued Thursday by the World Health Organization.
The report, financed by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s foundation, suggests a six-point program for fighting the tobacco industry’s influence.
“The WHO is described by the tobacco industry as its biggest enemy,” Dr. Margaret Chan, the organization’s director-general, said at a news conference introducing the report. “Today we intend to enhance that reputation.”
Nicknamed Mpower and based on a partly successful program for fighting drug-resistant tuberculosis, the report suggests raising cigarette taxes, banning smoking in public places, enforcing laws against giving or advertising tobacco to children, monitoring tobacco use, warning people about the dangers and offering free or inexpensive help to smokers trying to quit.
The report, to which Bloomberg Philanthropies contributed $2 million, is the first to compile global data on how many smokers or tobacco chewers each country has, how much they pay in tobacco taxes, and how antismoking efforts are faring.
Among its conclusions: Poor and middle-income countries collect 5,000 times as much in tax revenue from tobacco as they spend in fighting its use. Only 5 percent of the world has no-smoking laws like those in New York City. Uruguay does more than any other country to reduce smoking.