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US Senate confirms Dempsey as joint chiefs chairman

world Updated: Aug 02, 2013 10:43 IST

PTI
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The US Senate has approved the nomination of General Martin Dempsey for a second two-year term as the chairman of joint chiefs of staff.

The Senate confirmed Dempsey to the post by a voice vote and also approved the nomination of Admiral Sandy Winnefeld to the post of vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.

"I would like to congratulate General Martin Dempsey and Admiral Sandy Winnefeld on their Senate confirmation to second terms as chairman and vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff," US defence secretary Chuck Hagel said after their confirmation.

"Both of these proven leaders are tireless advocates for our men and women in uniform and innovative thinkers who are helping to shape the military of the future. I strongly value their counsel, as does (US) President (Barack) Obama," he said.

"Their continued service and wise advice will be essential as we continue to draw down from the war in Afghanistan and confront other national security challenges," Hagel said.

Following their confirmation, Senator John McCain said he continues to be seriously concerned about the advice that the top military leaders have given the president and National Security Council regarding the most serious and time-sensitive crises in the world today.

"More than 100,000 Syrians have been slaughtered in what General Dempsey himself has called 'a human tragedy' yet we have done nothing to stop it.

He cites 'the complexity and the myriad actors that are involved' as the reason he has not recommended military action," McCain said.

"My votes in the Armed Services Committee against rubber-stamping General Dempsey and Admiral Winnefeld's nominations reflect my continuing concerns about the professional military advice they have given the president," he said.

"America needs to take the lead on addressing this international calamity before another 100,000 have to die at the hands of the Assad regime and our regional security interests are further damaged," McCain said.

Also on Thursday, US President Barack Obama announced to nominate Deborah James as the next secretary of the air force.

James is president of the technology and engineering sector at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a position she has held since 2013.

"Deborah's strong record of public service and leadership in the private sector makes her uniquely qualified to be my nominee for secretary of the air force. I look forward to working with her to keep our air force the very best in the world and to keep faith with our extraordinary air force personnel and their families," Obama said.

Hagel said he strongly supports Obama's nomination of Deborah James to serve as the 23rd secretary of the air force.

"Deborah is an outstanding leader with deep experience in the department of defence, the private sector, and non-profit organisations that support the men and women of our armed services," he said.

"If confirmed, Deborah will lead the air force during a time of great consequence for our airmen and their families. I appreciate her willingness to serve her country once again," Hagel said.