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Martin E. Dempsey

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Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey, U.S. Army, delivers testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services on the U.S. policy towards Iraq and Syria and the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, September 16, 2014. Credit: Ron Sachs / CNP Photo by: Ron Sachs/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

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Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey said the Islamic State militants can be contained, but only temporarily. He said the problem must be addressed diplomatically, politically and militarily by the U.S. and regional partners. (Associated Press)

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Senate Armed Service Committee member Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, after attending a closed committee meeting on the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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** FILE ** Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Army Gen. Carter Ham has testified that he had told Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the Joint Chiefs chairman, that Americans in Benghazi were under attack by terrorists, not demonstrators. He said both men agreed. (Associated Press)

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Army Gen. Carter Ham has testified that he had told Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the Joint Chiefs chairman, that Americans in Benghazi were under attack by terrorists, not demonstrators. He said both men agreed. (Associated Press)

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Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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** FILE ** Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: "Once we take action [in Syria], we should be prepared for what comes next. Deeper involvement is hard to avoid. As we weigh our options, we should be able to conclude with some confidence that the use of force will move us toward the intended outcome."

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**FILE** Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 12, 2013, before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the looming cuts to the defense budget. (Associated Press)

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Pause from 'pivot': "We're looking at how we can assist the Lebanese armed forces, the Jordanians in particular," said Gen. Martin E. Dempsey. (Associated Press)

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Pause from 'pivot': "We're looking at how we can assist the Lebanese armed forces, the Jordanians in particular," said Gen. Martin E. Dempsey. (Associated Press)

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Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (right) along with Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of Naval Operations; Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy; and Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, render honors Tuesday during a wreath-laying ceremony at the U.S. Navy Memorial. (U.S. Navy via Associated Press)

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** FILE ** Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (left) and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey (right), chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrive for a closed-door intelligence briefing for members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: "Once we take action [in Syria], we should be prepared for what comes next. Deeper involvement is hard to avoid. As we weigh our options, we should be able to conclude with some confidence that the use of force will move us toward the intended outcome."