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DEMPSEY TANK MEETING

ArmyGen. Martin E. Dempsey, the newly minted chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, began his tenure this week by setting a tone of defiance and strength.

According to military officials, Gen. Dempsey recently impressed fellow chiefs during a meeting in the secure Pentagon conference room known as the tank.

Toward the end of a vigorous discussion on a sensitive military topic, Gen. Dempsey responded, “We’re not going to do it,” according to one official close to the chiefs.

The chairman, who replaced Navy Adm. Mike Mullen last week, made it clear that military leaders would not be unduly pressured.

No details on the topic or who was pressuring the chiefs could be learned.

Gen. Dempsey stated on his Twitter feed Tuesday: “I met with my team and was able to share some thoughts with them. I trust them to do what’s right and be [the Joint Staff] our nation needs.”

The four-star general held an off-the-record meeting with reporters on Monday in his new office, which is adorned with a large oil painting of Army Gen. George C. Marshall, the historic former Army chief of staff, secretary of state and secretary of defense.

For his desk, Gen. Dempsey brought in a desk used by Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur in the Philippines during World War II.

In an Oct. 1 letter to all U.S. troops, Gen. Dempsey said the U.S. military is “admired by our allies and partners, and we are dreaded by our enemies.”

The chairman’s letter outlined his key priorities as, first, to “achieve our national objectives” — not win — in current conflicts and, second, to “develop Joint Force 2020” as a way to “look beyond current requirements.”

Future modernized military forces must “provide the greatest possible number of options for our nation’s leaders and to ensure our nation remains immune from coercion,” he said.

ANTI-TERROR TRAINERS BLOCKED

The CIA and Department of Homeland Security abruptly canceled a conference in August on homegrown U.S. radical extremism in what officials close to the issue say was an effort to block two conservative anti-terrorism experts from presenting their views.

The conference was slated for Aug. 10 through 12 at agency headquarters in McLean and was to have been hosted by the CIA Threat Management Unit. It was organized by the intelligence subcommittee of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

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About the Author
Bill Gertz

Bill Gertz

Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.

He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.

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