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One barrier that keeps women from the highest ranks is their inability to serve in combat units. Promotion and job opportunities have favored those with battlefield leadership credentials.

The report ordered by Congress in 2009 calls for greater diversity in the military’s leadership so it will better reflect the racial, ethnic and gender mix in the armed forces and in American society.

Efforts over the years to develop a more equal-opportunity military have increased the number of women and racial and ethnic minorities in the ranks of leadership. But, the report says, “Despite undeniable successes … the armed forces have not yet succeeded in developing a continuing stream of leaders who are as diverse as the nation they serve.”

JUSTICE

Holder: Scare tactics not working on teens

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. says some programs aimed at scaring troubled teens into better behavior are failing in their mission.

Speaking to county officials Monday, the attorney general said the system of juvenile justice must move away from prosecution and punishment and more toward prevention and intervention.

Mr. Holder cites a scientific review that found that children ordered into nine “Scared Straight” programs around the country are nearly 30 percent more likely to offend than youths who are not.

“Scared Straight” initiatives involve visits by troubled teenagers to prisons, where intimidating inmates deliver in-your-face lectures about the harshness of life behind bars.

The attorney general said many youths who are incarcerated for nonviolent offenses often emerge violent or at the very least, traumatized.

THE FED

Car-buying fuels borrowing increase

Consumers borrowed more in January to purchase new cars but were once again frugal with their credit cards, offering a mixed sign of their confidence in the economy.

Borrowing rose 2.5 percent, or by $5 billion, the Federal Reserve said Monday. It was the fourth consecutive monthly gain and it increased total consumer debt to $2.41 trillion.

Strong car sales drove the increase. The category that includes auto loans rose 6.9 percent.

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