Monday, September 28, 2015

Marine general sworn in as US military's top officer

Marine general sworn in as US military's top officer: Marine General Joseph Dunford became the US military's highest-ranking officer Friday, chosen by President Barack Obama as America's armed forces face an array of global crises and combat challenges.

Dunford, 59, replaces General Martin Dempsey as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Though the position has no direct operational authority, he acts as the main military advisor to the president and the defense secretary, and holds massive sway on matters of war and peace.

Dunford, who earned the nickname "Fighting Joe" as an infantry officer during the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, ascends to the top of the military food chain during a difficult time.

Recent years have seen a resurgent Russia annex Crimea and aid separatists in eastern Ukraine, as well as the swift rise of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria that took the world by surprise.

In addition, the military is facing cuts if the Republicans and the White House can't agree on the budget.

Observers say Obama picked Dunford in part because of his ability to give candid and impartial advice.