Obama names Dempsey as Joint Chiefs chair

posted at 6:30 pm on May 30, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama announced earlier today that he would nominate Iraq War veteran General Martin Dempsey as the new chair of the Joint Chiefs, likely concluding a reshuffling of his national-security team. The selection of Dempsey allows Admiral Mike Mullen end his term in September as planned. While Obama had earlier promised to reduce American levels in Afghanistan, his new choice seems to be on the same page as the President of late in promising to provide as many resources to the fight there as required, Reuters reports:

The selection comes as Obama is facing growing pressure to accelerate a troop drawdown in Afghanistan and is preparing to complete a withdrawal from Iraq.

Echoing remarks Dempsey himself recently made to U.S. troops, Obama vowed: “We will provide whatever it takes to achieve our objectives in the current fight.”

Dempsey currently sits on the Joint Chiefs as the Army’s representative. General Ray Odierno, another Iraq War commander, will take his place, and Admiral James Winnefeld moves from running the US Northern Command to vice chair.

The Senate will have to confirm these moves, but there should be little debate and general consensus on the nominations. It’s interesting that Obama has chosen two men so closely associated with the war in Iraq, though. Dempsey was the overall commander of the multi-national force’s Security Transition Force from 2005-7, which developed and trained the new Iraqi security forces, moving from there to deputy commander of CENTCOM and later a brief stint as acting commander before spending the next three years as the commander of the Training and Doctrine Command. Odierno is even more closely associated with Iraq, having commanded all US forces there, and is generally considered one of the key architects of the 2007 “surge” strategy that Barack Obama vociferously rejected as a Senator and presidential candidate.

The choices seem well considered, as I’m not aware of any potential objections. Mullen did a fine job as Joint Chiefs chair, and Dempsey should provide continuity and credibility. I’d expect these nominations to move quickly in the Senate.

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President Barack Obama on Monday nominated Army General Martin Dempsey, a warrior-scholar who commanded troops in the Iraq war, as the top U.S. military officer.

I guess Yahoo has no problem with this. Interesting choice of words.

unclesmrgol on May 30, 2011 at 6:35 PM

I know this is sort of beating a dead horse, but can you imagine the feigned outrage from the left if this man were Bush’s choice? Certainly the MSM would be using the adjective “controversial” in there somewhere….

Be that as it may, I’m going to miss Admiral Mullen, but General Dempsey seems an eminently qualified replacement.

notropis on May 30, 2011 at 6:36 PM

If you look into his background… there isn’t a whole lot there.

OEF in the Phillipines makes me wonder.

upinak on May 30, 2011 at 6:40 PM

He is pretty much a blank slate just like Obama.

Johnnyreb on May 30, 2011 at 6:45 PM

Huh. Mullen was a decent CJCS, but getting so overtly political in pushing for DADT repeal and then trashing military members who opposed it (before the repeal even happened) was unacceptable.

But then, you’re already a politician wearing stars by the time you get appointed CJCS.

fiatboomer on May 30, 2011 at 6:57 PM

Shuffling the deck.

More like trying to stack the deck..

rich801 on May 30, 2011 at 7:02 PM

fiatboomer on May 30, 2011 at 6:57 PM

Agreed, though I’d take it a bit further: I thought Mullen was a yes man and while it’s his duty as an officer to smartly salute the POTUS, he seemed all too eager to run interference for him. Personally, I think he’s a spineless scumbag for pushing DADT repeal, but most politicians are spineless scumbags, so nothing out of character there.

BKeyser on May 30, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Hopefully Dempsey will be better than Mullen. Mullen was Chairman of the Loint Chiefs, yet he had never seen combat. Since the Navy hasn’t seen combat since 1945, I think the Chairmaqn of the Joint Chiefs should come from another branch of the service, preferably the Army or Marines.

I spent a tour in the Air Force. If you’re not in SAC or flight-related activity, being in the Air Force is like being in civil service but wearing a uniform.

bw222 on May 30, 2011 at 7:06 PM

Why’s he choosing someone from an illegal war?!?!?

SouthernGent on May 30, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Since the Navy hasn’t seen combat since 1945

You’re kidding, right?

Red Cloud on May 30, 2011 at 7:08 PM

SouthernGent on May 30, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Best question that will never be asked.

notropis on May 30, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Since the Navy hasn’t seen combat since 1945,

Lt. Michael Murphy disagrees with your assertion.

Fallen Sparrow on May 30, 2011 at 7:14 PM

Weiner Investigation Would Benefit All Parties Involved – by Alana Goodman

http://bit.ly/m1olgx

ninjapirate on May 30, 2011 at 7:16 PM

Since the Navy hasn’t seen combat since 1945

bw222 on May 30, 2011 at 7:06 PM

You’re kidding, right?

Red Cloud on May 30, 2011 at 7:08 PM

He either forgot the sracasm tag or the dunce cap.

U.S.S. Cole?

profitsbeard on May 30, 2011 at 7:20 PM

I spent a tour in the Air Force. If you’re not in SAC or flight-related activity, being in the Air Force is like being in civil service but wearing a uniform.

bw222 on May 30, 2011 at 7:06 PM

As my son is in Security Forces about to be deployed to Kyrgyzstan, after two years in Korea, I consider your comment a disgrace.

ladyingray on May 30, 2011 at 7:26 PM

I hope this guy, even with a Military title, doesn’t have the compassion for the troops Obutthead has. If he does, this isn’t going to go well, in my opinion.

capejasmine on May 30, 2011 at 7:32 PM

bw222 on May 30, 2011 at 7:06 PM

and like Achman in Iran, there was no Holocaust, right? UGH!!!

capejasmine on May 30, 2011 at 7:33 PM

bw222 on May 30, 2011 at 7:06 PM

I agree with Ladyingray. Disgraceful.

http://militarytimes.com/valor/index.php has a list of the fallen from OIF/OEF. Quite a few AF folks in that list.

You owe your fellow Airmen an apology.

Bradky on May 30, 2011 at 7:35 PM

BKeyser on May 30, 2011 at 7:04 PM

It is the duty of the military to follow the lawful orders of those appointed over them. Mullen did just that. Whether he agreed or not was not the point – the civilian bosses said it will change and he had to implement it. Whether his opinion was solicited let alone listened to is not relevant.

Bradky on May 30, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Meanwhile, back in D.C. …………….

http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2011/05/30/obama-golfing-memorial-day/

capejasmine on May 30, 2011 at 7:39 PM

Since the Navy hasn’t seen combat since 1945, I think the Chairmaqn of the Joint Chiefs should come from another branch of the service, preferably the Army or Marines.

bw222 on May 30, 2011 at 7:06 PM

Since you’re obviously ignorant perhaps we shouldn’t take your take too seriously.

DarkCurrent on May 30, 2011 at 7:40 PM

DarkCurrent on May 30, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Very informative link.

gh on May 30, 2011 at 7:46 PM

It is safe to assume that they are totally ignorant of Islam but have wonderful Muslim advisers. How would they fit in otherwise?

BL@KBIRD on May 30, 2011 at 7:46 PM

bw222 on May 30, 2011 at 7:06 PM

You’re obviously a dumbass because the Marines ARE Navy.

Jeebus but people are stupid around here.

ladyingray on May 30, 2011 at 7:47 PM

You’re obviously a dumbass because the Marines ARE Navy.

Jeebus but people are stupid around here.

ladyingray on May 30, 2011 at 7:47 PM

I think the Marines are considered a separate branch.

But aren’t the SEALs in the Navy? I heard they saw some combat recently.

DarkCurrent on May 30, 2011 at 7:52 PM

I spent a tour in the Air Force. If you’re not in SAC or flight-related activity, being in the Air Force is like being in civil service but wearing a uniform.

bw222 on May 30, 2011 at 7:06 PM

..whoa there, old son. Of course, you can draw a wide circle around the term “flight-related activity”. I mean, cranking out paychecks or working at Randolph at MPC might be considered “flight-related” as in getting the A/Cs and EWOs their paychecks or next PSC assignments.

I am sure there are a lot of missile silo rats that would take exception to your remarks.

..also, when I was in SAC, there weren’t a lot of civil servants developing the SIOP at Offutt.

The War Planner on May 30, 2011 at 7:56 PM

DarkCurrent on May 30, 2011 at 7:52 PM

Technically, no. Marines are Navy. Graduates from Annapolis get to chose between the Navy and Marines. Civilans mistakently consider them separate, but they really aren’t.

SEALs can be from Navy or Marine, and I am not sure that Army and Air Force can be a SEAL if they get through all the training.

I could be wrong about that.

And yeah, you can be certain that members of SEAL Team 6 were navy. bw222 is an obvious idiot.

ladyingray on May 30, 2011 at 7:57 PM

But aren’t the SEALs in the Navy? I heard they saw some combat recently.

DarkCurrent on May 30, 2011 at 7:52 PM

..you call a home-invasion and running up to the third floor penthouse of a Pakistani apartment building to turn the switch off on some towel head combat?

/s

(Of course!)

The War Planner on May 30, 2011 at 7:59 PM

Graduates from Annapolis get to chose between the Navy and Marines. Civilans mistakently consider them separate, but they really aren’t.

..bw222 is an obvious idiot.

ladyingray on May 30, 2011 at 7:57 PM

..actually, graduates from *any* service academy — with the proper “preparation” and so long as it does not contravene “the needs of the service” — can select any branch of the service they desire. I served with *both* USMA and USNA graduates who chose the USAF.

I do not disagree with your opinion of the other commenter, however.

The War Planner on May 30, 2011 at 8:03 PM

Technically, no. Marines are Navy.

ladyingray on May 30, 2011 at 7:57 PM

Technically they’re not.

DarkCurrent on May 30, 2011 at 8:07 PM

Bradky on May 30, 2011 at 7:38 PM

The CJCS’s opinion is irrelevant? Arguing for or against a military policy is exactly what he’s in DC to do. That was a really poor argument you presented.

BKeyser on May 30, 2011 at 8:11 PM

I do not disagree with your opinion of the other commenter, however.

The War Planner on May 30, 2011 at 8:03 PM

Nice.

Technically they’re not.

DarkCurrent on May 30, 2011 at 8:07 PM

I’m sorry, but Marines are Navy.

ladyingray on May 30, 2011 at 8:12 PM

I’m sorry, but Marines are Navy.

ladyingray on May 30, 2011 at 8:12 PM

I think we need a Marine to speak.

DarkCurrent on May 30, 2011 at 8:16 PM

Technically they’re not.

DarkCurrent on May 30, 2011 at 8:07 PM

They both report to the Secretary of the Navy.

ladyingray on May 30, 2011 at 8:16 PM

They both report to the Secretary of the Navy.

ladyingray on May 30, 2011 at 8:16 PM

That’s true, but they’re still a separate branch and are recognized as such.

DarkCurrent on May 30, 2011 at 8:20 PM

That’s true, but they’re still a separate branch and are recognized as such.

DarkCurrent on May 30, 2011 at 8:20 PM

By civilians, true.

Pretty much anyone in the military considers other military members to be one of “them”, as it should be. It’s pretty much only nonserving civilians who try to box in military personnel. My ex was Navy and considered all Marines as Navy, as does every Navy/Marine personnel (including retirees) that I know. Civilians who never served are the ones who seem to draw a line between the two.

And I am sorry, they aren’t seperate branches, as much as you want to think they are….

ladyingray on May 30, 2011 at 8:29 PM

ladyingray on May 30, 2011 at 8:29 PM

My daughter’s in Marine Corps OCS right now in Quantico, VA, and she has both Navy Petty Officers and Marine Corps Sergeants as her instructors. I don’t know whether it’s technically a separate “branch” or not, but it’s certainly the same “Department:” Department of the Navy.

notropis on May 30, 2011 at 8:40 PM

I’m eating up the intellectual squabbling!

ericdijon on May 30, 2011 at 9:19 PM

You’re obviously a dumbass because the Marines ARE Navy.

Jeebus but people are stupid around here.

ladyingray on May 30, 2011 at 7:47 PM

No. Marines are USMC despite the very close relationship with the Navy. USMC is not Navy. You join the Navy or, you join the USMC. They are very different despite the obvious bonds. Marines don’t get USN tattoos. Don’t argue about this.

lexhamfox on May 30, 2011 at 9:34 PM

Don’t argue about this.

lexhamfox on May 30, 2011 at 9:34 PM

Sorry. I didn’t mean to be rude with the earlier post.

lexhamfox on May 30, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Department of the Navy
United States Marine Corps

Read their seal…

There are 3 arrows on the eagle claw on the DoD seal, one for the Army, Navy and Air Force…

Khun Joe on May 30, 2011 at 10:04 PM

Mullen did a good job at CJCS? I know a lot of very learned military men who are non partisan who will differ with you Ed.

Jdripper on May 30, 2011 at 10:23 PM

I never head of a Marine going into the SEALS, and apparent neither have these people. Also, as a former Marine, I never considered myself a part of the Navy, but we are administered and supported by the Department of the Navy.

elfman on May 30, 2011 at 10:33 PM

As far as the Marines being part of the Navy is concerned, the civilian leadership is a part of the Navy, but the Marines operate as a separate branch militarily.

So it’s both.

Sec. 206 of this may clear it up: http://intelligence.senate.gov/nsaact1947.pdf

Gary's Johnson on May 30, 2011 at 11:01 PM

And this: http://www.navy.mil/navydata/organization/org-over.asp

Gary's Johnson on May 30, 2011 at 11:04 PM

ladyingray on May 30, 2011 at 8:29 PM

My husband’s a former Marine. My husband says that actually the Navy is attached to the USMC and supplies the ships they ride in when they need to go someplace.

annoyinglittletwerp on May 30, 2011 at 11:10 PM

I’ve served in both – enlisted in the Navy, and as a commissioned offer in the Marine Corps. They are separate and distinct services, both within the Depart of the Navy, which is why you have both a Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and a Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC), each with a seat on the Joint Chiefs, with a rotating chairman. The two services are distinctly spelled out with the respective responsibilities and authorities delineated in Title 10 of the U.S. Code. Each service has a separate and distinct budget.

There always has and will continue to be a considerable amount of service rivalry, not only between the two, but across all of the services and even the Coast Guard. The Air Force takes a lot of grief for being the “baby” service, as they were formerly the Army Air Corps and have only been a separate service since post-WWII (Natl. Security Acct of ’47), along with the DoD, which was formerly the War Department.

In the end we are all Brothers-in-Arms and every service has made sacrifices at what Lincoln often referred to as the Altar of Freedom.

Roc on May 30, 2011 at 11:35 PM

If one assumes the Obamacrats know about as much about the military as they do worm holes and balancing budgets without tax increases, one must also (thankfully) assume that someone outside the normal circle of silliness helped pick this guy (Colin Powell?).

Left to their own wisdom, the Obamacrats probably would put Code Pink in charge…:)

drfredc on May 31, 2011 at 1:16 AM

I’m sorry, but Marines are Navy.

ladyingray on May 30, 2011 at 8:12 PM

The US Marines are a Department of the US Navy.

The Men’s Department.

NaCly dog on May 31, 2011 at 2:05 AM

The Men’s Department.

NaCly dog on May 31, 2011 at 2:05 AM

I am SO sharing that with my husband. LoL

annoyinglittletwerp on May 31, 2011 at 3:29 AM

The US Marines are a Department of the US Navy.

The Men’s Department.
NaCly dog on May 31, 2011 at 2:05 AM

I’ve a friend who’s ex-navy and my little brother’s ONG (former Army)… I’m so sharing this.

(if the Marines are the men’s department, does that make the Coast Guard the kiddie section?) :-)

The_Livewire on May 31, 2011 at 8:36 AM

Stacking the deck for war perhaps? This will not be some Clintonian bombing an asprin factory momment.

http://theeveningchronicle.blogspot.com/2011/05/growing-sense-of-ill-ease.html

LCT688 on May 31, 2011 at 10:26 AM

As a 25 year veteran, I think the picture use for this article says a thousand words. The President making introductions show the Admiral and General Odierno assuming the proper position (attention) for such an occasion, while the JCS is standing in the opposite manner (at ease).

This is a clear indication that the JCS is going to be the proper type of yes man that President Obama needs to keep moving forward on Socializing U.S. – Fix it in 2012.

MSGTAS on May 31, 2011 at 10:34 AM

I spent a tour in the Air Force. If you’re not in SAC or flight-related activity, being in the Air Force is like being in civil service but wearing a uniform.

bw222

I belonged to an AF organization that currently represents 1% of the USAF population in Iraq and Afghanistan but account for 25% of all USAF casualties. I spent 28 years in the Air Force and most of it “outside the wire.”

I don’t know when your tour was but I’ll be charitable and assume if was in the early 70′s or 80′s when service was mostly stateside or somewhere “dangerous” like Germany.

Your comments do a dis-service to PJs, Combat Controllers, AFOSI counterintelligence and USAF Security forces that saddle up and go outside the wire every day and have done so since Vietnam.

E9RET on May 31, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Sorry. I didn’t mean to be rude with the earlier post.

lexhamfox on May 30, 2011 at 9:41 PM

You weren’t, but I was. I apologize to everyone, and most especially to DarkCurrent.

ladyingray on May 31, 2011 at 12:38 PM

I apologize to everyone, and most especially to DarkCurrent.

ladyingray on May 31, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Thanks, but you didn’t anything to me that requires an apology.

DarkCurrent on May 31, 2011 at 3:14 PM

“No matter how I look at the issue…I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens…For me, it comes down to integrity — theirs as individuals and ours as an institution.”

The armed services “can’t go fast enough” to increase diversity, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a group of senior military leaders here yesterday.

peacenprosperity on May 31, 2011 at 5:19 PM