The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Monday dispelled rumors that the chief of U.S. Africa Command is being replaced because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Army Gen. Martin Dempsey said that Gen. Carter Ham, commander of AfriCom, had been scheduled for a change of command.
"The speculation that Gen. Carter Ham is departing Africa Command (AFRICOM) due to events in Benghazi, Libya, on 11 September 2012 is absolutely false," Gen. Dempsey said in a statement Monday.
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta announced Oct. 18 that Army Gen. David Rodriguez would succeed Gen. Ham, about a month after the attack in which U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed at the U.S. Consulate.
Mr. Panetta said last week that intelligence was not clear enough during the eight-hour attack to warrant inserting U.S. troops.
"General Ham's departure is part of routine succession planning that has been on going since July. He continues to serve in AFRICOM with my complete confidence," Gen. Dempsey said.
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Kristina Wong is a national security reporter for The Washington Times, covering defense, foreign policy and intelligence affairs. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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