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Dempsey's Joint Chiefs nomination likely to move ahead

Jul. 22, 2013 - 02:31PM   |  
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WASHINGTON — Despite some fireworks at last week’s hearing for Gen. Martin Dempsey it is likely his nomination for a second term as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will move ahead.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who has advocated for a stronger U.S. response to the Syrian war, sharply questioned Dempsey during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

McCain was frustrated when Dempsey declined to testify about the options and advice he presented to President Obama for responding to the war in Syria.

Dempsey said it would not be appropriate to discuss military recommendations while the president has yet to make a decision.

After the hearing McCain, a ranking Republican on the panel, said he would put a hold on Dempsey’s nomination until he responds to questions about Syria.

On Friday, McCain and Sen. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat and the committee’s chairman, sent a letter to Dempsey asking him a series of questions designed to clarify his thoughts on Syria and Afghanistan.

“He’s fine to move forward” with the nomination, McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said. “He just feels like there’s questions that need to be answered.”

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