Meeting with Italian defense officials in Rome Monday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey said that the threat to the world from Islamic terrorism is "probably a 30-year issue." The Army News Service reports:
The threat from Islamic terrorists will not get any easier, the chairman said.
"I think this threat is probably a 30-year issue," he said, noting that terrorists easily recruit young fighters via the Internet. Counter-messaging is one of the lines of strategy in defeating extremists, he said.
The military leaders also expressed concern about the infiltration of foreign fighters through Italy and other southern NATO countries:
There is concern, both sides noted, that foreign fighters could be moving through Italy's and NATO's southern flanks. Close to 170,000 refugees have come through Italy's shores in the past year.
Dempsey said the approach in dealing with extremism should consider the swath of countries from the Middle East to Africa, where ISIL and other terrorist groups operate.
In addition to terrorism, Gen. Dempsey singled out Russian aggression as the other main threat to the U.S. and its allies:
For the first time in a "very long time," the United States and its allies are facing the "very distinct threats" of a conventional state threat from Russia, Dempsey said, and the unconventional threat of terrorism from extremists.
Dempsey also praised Italy's cooperation in the fight against ISIL, as officials noted that the U.S. and Italy are the "top contributors of on-the-ground trainers and advisors who are enabling the Kurds and Iraqis in the fight against extremists."
During hearings yesterday to reconfirm Gen. Martin Dempsey as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Sen. John McCain pushed Dempsey to find out where he stands on Syria. McCain noted that Dempsey supported arming the Syrian rebels in February and then changed his mind in April. "How do we account for those pirouettes?" McCain asked.
The White House left Ambassador Chris Stevens, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, and Sean Smith on their own on September 11 in Benghazi. That is the upshot of today’s Capitol Hill hearing featuring Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey.
Neither the secretary of defense nor the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff spoke to the secretary of state during the 8-hour attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. At a Thursday hearing in the Senate, Republican Ted Cruz asked both Leon Panetta and Martin Dempsey, "In between 9:42 p.m., Benghazi time, when the first attacks started, and 5:15 am, when Mr. Doherty and Mr. Woods lost their lives, what converations did either of you have with Secretary Clinton?"
"We did not have any conversations with Secretary Clinton," Panetta responded.
General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared to be unaware that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified that she did not see a cable from Ambassador Christopher Stevens in August of 2012 in which the late ambassador warned the consulate in Benghazi was not safe from attack. Republican senator Lindsey Graham asked Dempsey about Clinton's testimony.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, admitted in a Senate hearing Thursday that no military assets, individual soldiers or aircraft, sent in response to the September 11, 2012, attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Watch the video below:
Earlier this week we wrote that the chairman of the Joints of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, had “provoked a public confrontation” with House Budget Committee leader Rep. Paul Ryan. It appeared that Dempsey had made a grievous error by claiming that Ryan had “called [the JCS], collectively, liars.”
In an interview on CNN, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that “we are of the opinion that Iran is a rational actor,” from which he derived his conclusion that “we also know, or we believe we know, that Iran has not decided to make a nuclear weapon.”
NBC reports: "Iran would take pre-emptive action against its enemies if it felt its national interests were endangered, the deputy head of the Islamic Republic's armed forces was quoted by a semi-official news agency as saying Tuesday. . . .
At a House Armed Services Committee yesterday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey warned against making further reductions to future defense spending, telling lawmakers that further cuts will “truly devastate our national defense.”
“Extraordinarily difficult and very high risk.” That’s how General Martin Dempsey, the Army’s chief of staff and Obama’s pick to chair the Joint Chiefs of Staff, bluntly described proposals by the president and certain lawmakers to cut national security spending by anywhere from $400 billion to $1 trillion or more over the next decade.