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Obama picks combat-tested Gen. Martin Dempsey to head Joint Chiefs of Staff

President Obama has named Army Gen. Martin Dempsey to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. Dempsey joins a reorganized national security team facing many challenges.

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President Obama has named US Army Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the president's top military advisor. Gen. Dempsey joins a recently reorganized national security team, including Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon Panetta to replace Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense and Afghan war commander General David Petraeus to take over the CIA from Mr. Panetta.

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President Obama has named US Army Chief of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

As the nation’s highest-ranking military officer and senior uniformed advisor to the Commander-in-chief, Gen. Dempsey will join a recently reorganized Obama administration national security team in the midst of an unusually critical set of multiple tasks.

Among the challenges: military disengagement from Iraq, an unconventional war in Afghanistan that includes secret missions in Pakistan, foreseeing and planning for an evolving set of threats (some of them connected to violent political unrest in North Africa and the Middle East), and questions about major weapons systems and the disposition of US forces around the world as Washington struggles with difficult issues of budget and debt.

Dempsey, who replaces retiring US Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, faces Senate confirmation hearings – as he did when he took over the Army’s top job less than two months ago.

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