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Gen. Martin Dempsey: Armed Forces Need to Understand Maneuver, Deterrence to Deal With Near-Peer Threats

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Gen. Martin Dempsey
Gen. Martin Dempsey

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said 80 percent of the U.S. armed forces should understand the threat posed by what he called near-peer competitors, DoD News reported Monday.

Dempsey said in a speech to Denmark’s army academy that “it’s very unsettling” for many uniformed personnel as other countries start to develop military capabilities since most of them did not confront national security threats he has witnessed in his four decades of military career, including the one posed by the former Soviet Union.

He noted several risks coming from sub-state, state and nonstate threat actors, including Russia’s decision to annex Crimea and the transformation of al-Qaida into the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Jim Garamone writes.

“That makes for a very volatile mix and makes it difficult for us to balance our resources to deal with these multiple threats simultaneously,” Dempsey said.

He also urged the 20 percent who lived in the time when the U.S. had both “peers and near-peer competitors” to make the rest of the armed forces learn the use of military tools and understand the concepts of maneuver and deterrence.

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