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Entries in Martin Dempsey (4)

Thursday
Jun022011

Gates: Joint Chiefs Selection Was About Team-Building

Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images(SINGAPORE) -- In his first public comments about the selection of the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Gen. Martin Dempsey's nomination to the post was about maintaining the cohesiveness of the Obama administration's national security team.

Traveling to Singapore to attend a security conference, Gates rejected news reports that the one-time front runner for the post, Gen. James Cartwright, was passed over for the job because of his stance during the administration's policy debate over the strategy for Afghanistan.

It was long believed that Cartwright's current job as the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff put him on the inside track to becoming the president's top military advisor. Bob Woodward's book, Obama's War also described him as President Obama's "favorite general."

However, it was Dempsey, the Army's newly installed Chief of Staff, who was announced Monday to succeed Adm. Mike Mullen in the fall.

Some news reports suggested Cartwright's stance during the Obama administration's 2009 policy debate for a new Afghanistan strategy may have been a factor.

On Thursday, Gates denied that, saying, "I will tell you that some of the negative things that have been reported as influencing the decision, for example the Afghan piece, are completely wrong. It had nothing to do with it whatsoever."

During the policy debate, Cartwright had reportedly favored a counterterror approach that required fewer troops in Afghanistan and focused more on specifically targeting Taliban and al Qaeda operations. That stance was contrary to the counterinsurgency approach, favored by other top military officials that would require more troops and time. Ultimately, President Obama chose a slightly scaled-down version of the counterinsurgency approach that led to the surge of 30,000 more U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

On Thursday, Gates praised Cartwright as "one of the finest officers I have ever worked with, I think he has been an outstanding vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff" and said he considered him a friend.

He said his focus for the past year had been to maintain the cohesiveness of the Obama administration's national security team which he described as "an extraordinary asset for the president and for the country."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May302011

Obama Appoints Martin Dempsey as Joint Chiefs Chairman

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In a hurry for what he called a "seamless" transition during wartime,  President Obama has nominated more promotions from within as he reshapes his military team, choosing four-star Army Gen. Martin Dempsey as the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"Martin Dempsey is one of our nation's most respected -- and combat-tested generals," the president declared in a Rose Garden announcement Monday. "I expect him to push all our forces to continue adapting and innovating to be ready for the missions of today and tomorrow."

Dempsey had just moved into the office of the Army Chief of Staff, a job that will now go to former Iraq commander Gen. Ray Odierno, who stood at attention in Monday's ceremony.

The president called Odierno "one of the Army’s most accomplished soldiers -- and one of the tallest.”

Navy Adm. James "Sandy" Winnefeld was nominated to be Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs.

The current team, Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen and Vice Chair Marine Gen. James Cartwright, do not retire for several months but President Obama says he's in a hurry.

"It's essential this transition be seamless and that we remain focused on the urgent national security challenges before us," he said.

The president wants a new team in place when he begins to withdraw troops from Afghanistan in July. These new appointments move the president closer to having his national security team in place as he runs for re-election next year. Dempsey will need Senate confirmation.

Last month, CIA head Leon Panetta was nominated to replace Defense Secretary Robert Gates when he retires. Gen. David Petraeus is slated to take over Panetta’s post at the CIA.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May302011

Obama Naming Next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama is expected to name Army Chief of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Monday.

The four-star general will succeed Adm. Mike Mullen, who will retire from the position on Oct. 1.

Dempsey served two combat tours in Iraq where he commanded the 1st Armored Division shortly after the 2003 invasion and later ran the U.S. effort to train Iraqi security forces.  Dempsey also served as the acting commander of U.S. Central Command, which has responsibility for U.S. military affairs in the Middle East.

Prior to assuming the job as Army chief of staff in early April, Dempsey spent two years heading the Army's Training and Doctrine Command.

This latest change of command at the Pentagon comes as part of a broad reshuffling of the president's entire military team.  Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who is also set to retire, will be replaced by CIA director Leon Panetta.  Panetta's position, in turn, will be filled in by the top military commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May252011

Gen. Martin Dempsey to Be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Army Chief of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey is the Obama administration's choice to become the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, succeeding Adm. Mike Mullen, who will retire Oct. 1, ABC News has learned.

An administration official confirmed the White House's surprise selection of the veteran officer, who became the Army's top officer last month.

Dempsey's selection finishes out the realignment of the Obama administration's Pentagon team brought on by the retirements of Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Leon Panetta, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, will replace Gates as defense secretary when he leaves his post June 30.

Dempsey's name had emerged in recent weeks as a top candidate to succeed Mullen as the chances of Marine Gen. James Cartwright seemed to fade. Cartwright had long been assumed to be the frontrunner since Bob Woodward's book, Obama's Wars, characterized him as President Obama's "favorite general."

During a meeting with Obama Saturday, a Defense official told ABC News, Cartwright was told that he was no longer a candidate to be the president's top military adviser. Neither Gates nor Mullen endorsed Cartwright to be the new Joint Chiefs chairman, the official said.

Dempsey served two combat tours in Iraq where he commanded the 1st Armored Division shortly after the 2003 invasion and later ran the U.S. effort to train Iraqi security forces. Dempsey also served as the acting commander of U.S. Central Command, which has responsibility for U.S. military affairs in the Middle East.

Prior to assuming the job as Army chief of staff in early April, Dempsey spent two years heading the Army's Training and Doctrine Command.

The career armor officer is a member of the West Point graduating class of 1974 where Gen. David Petraeus was a classmate.

Now the top military commander in Afghanistan, Petraeus will also play a role in the Obama administration's shuffle of national security players. Petraeus is slated to replace Panetta as the new CIA director in September.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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