Martin Dempsey

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McCain: ISIS Is 'Winning and We're Not'

But US effort still in 'early stages': Susan Rice

(Newser) - "They're winning, and we're not," says John McCain in his assessment of the American effort against the Islamic State. "The Iraqis are not winning. The Peshmerga, the Kurds are not winning." The Arizona Republican wants American boots on the ground to better coordinate airstrikes,... More »

Obama: I Repeat, No 'Ground War in Iraq'

But critics are worried the slope is getting slippery

(Newser) - A day after a top US general raised the possibility of US ground troops in the fight against ISIS, President Obama reiterated the promise he's been making of late: "I will not commit you, and the rest of our armed forces, to fighting another ground war in Iraq,... More »

US General: We Might Need Ground Troops Against ISIS

Martin Dempsey says special circumstances might come up

(Newser) - President Obama has been adamant that American military intervention against ISIS will not involve US ground troops. But as it turns out, the people who will be doing the actual intervening aren't so sure about that. In testimony today before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Joint Chiefs of Staff... More »

Bergdahl May Have Walked Off Base Multiple Times

Meanwhile, Army will take 'second look' at his case

(Newser) - The Army Times adds a new wrinkle to the Bowe Bergdahl saga : It quotes officials saying that the Army sergeant may have sneaked off his base in Afghanistan more than once before being captured by the Taliban. “We have no indication that he intended to leave permanently,” says... More »

Military's Budget Plan: Cut Pay, Benefits

Defense Dept. looking at options as budget set to shrink

(Newser) - It's long seemed unthinkable, but US military personnel could soon see cuts to their pay and benefits. Top commanders are considering such cuts as they deal with a decreasing budget, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chair said this weekend. While acknowledging that "we can't pay [soldiers] enough,... More »

Looks Like Syria Will Miss First Arms-Deal Deadline

Plus: Pentagon says US could train some rebels

(Newser) - Syria probably won't get a full inventory of its chemical weapons to international authorities by Saturday, as proposed—but the US, it seems, isn't panicking. "Our goal is to see forward momentum," rather than the whole inventory, by Saturday, says a State Department rep. "We'... More »

Kerry: We Can't Be 'Spectators'

Hagel tells lawmakers of 'risks with inaction'

(Newser) - John Kerry and defense chief Chuck Hagel were on Capitol Hill today making the case for a military strike on Syria. "This debate is about the world's red line," said Kerry. It is "a red line that anyone with a conscience ought to draw." Some... More »

Syria Readies for US Strike

Which Congress won't vote on til next week

(Newser) - If you spent your Labor Day weekend in a news-free zone, here's the biggest detail you missed: President Obama on Saturday announced he would seek congressional approval before striking Syria, which means nothing will happen until Congress returns Monday. Except, of course, there's a flurry of activity already... More »

Obama Gets His EPA Chief

Senate approves Gina McCarthy, and labor chief Thomas Perez, too

(Newser) - Two of President Obama's long-stalled nominees cleared the Senate today, thanks to this week's filibuster deal : Gina McCarthy is the new EPA chief, and Thomas Perez is the new labor secretary, reports the Hill and Wall Street Journal . The big question on Perez is how aggressive he will... More »

Military Chiefs: Sexual Assault 'Like a Cancer'

But commanders must keep their authority, they say

(Newser) - Lawmakers are attempting to deal with the apparent epidemic of sexual assault in the military, and some of the proposals currently wending their way through Congress would see commanders stripped of some authority. But at a Senate hearing on the matter today, though military leaders agreed that sexual assault within... More »

Pentagon: North Korea Likely Has Nuke Warheads

Congressman quotes report during hearing

(Newser) - A congressman quizzing the Joint Chiefs chairman dropped a disturbing little nugget during a hearing on Capitol Hill today: The Pentagon thinks North Korea probably already has nuclear weapons ready to go via ballistic missile. The revelation came from Colorado's Doug Lamborn, who read from an assessment by the... More »

Pentagon Leaders: We Wanted to Arm Syria Rebels

Panetta, Dempsey suggest military disagrees with White House decision

(Newser) - The response seemed to catch even questioner John McCain off guard, notes the Washington Post : When he asked Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs chairman Martin Dempsey whether they supported a plan last summer to arm Syrian rebels, this exchange followed:
  • "We did," said Panetta.
  • “You did support
... More »

US Military Class Suggested 'Hiroshima' Answer to Islam

Officers told total war on religion may be necessary

(Newser) - A course for American military officers took a position on Islam so extreme that it sounds like the invention of al-Qaeda propagandists. Future military leaders were taught that to protect America, "total war" on all the world's Muslims may be necessary, and holy cities like Mecca may have... More »

Meet the New Joint Chiefs Chairman

Obama expected to name Army Gen. Martin Dempsey

(Newser) - The White House is putting out the unofficial word today to the big news outlets that the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will be Army Gen. Martin Dempsey. Currently the Army's top general, he is known not only for his military skills but for his political... More »

Top Choices for McChrystal's Job

Mattis, Rodriguez, Allen head candidate pack

(Newser) - With Gen. Stanley McChrystal looking like a goner, attention has turned to the Afghanistan commander's possible replacements. Marine Gen. James Mattis and Marine Lt. Gen. John Allen appear to be frontrunners, though Thomas Ricks notes in Foreign Policy that Mattis, ironically, "has a reputation... for speaking a little too... More »

New US Mideast Commander Installed

Out with the Navy, in with the Army as head of CentCom

(Newser) - A new commander has taken temporary charge of US military operations in the Mideast, after a quiet ceremony at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida yesterday. Lt. Gen Martin Dempsey will run CentCom while the administration seeks a permanent replacement for Adm. William Fallon, who quit abruptly earlier this month... More »

16 Stories