Dempsey: Sexual Assault is ‘an Insider Attack’

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, likened sexual assault in the military to “an insider attack,” saying the comparison “is the perfect description of what happens in a sexual assault: it’s where one of our own turn against us.” Speaking during an April 10 bloggers roundtable, Dempsey said combatting sexual assault requires alert and vigilant leadership as well as strong policies. There are “no bystanders on this issue,” he added. Dempsey said he opposed transferring the prosecution of military sexual assault cases from the Uniform Code of Military Justice to civilian courts. “In my conversations with members of Congress it is my strong belief that these issues must be solved with commanders and not around them,” he said. However, he is willing to consider it if it proves in the best interest of the victims. “If it occurs that after a period of very intense and renewed emphasis on this that we can’t solve it, I‘m not going to fight it being taken away from us,” he said. “I want to solve the problem. … If this is demonstrated to be ineffective then I will no longer provide advice that it should stay in the chain of command.” (See also Senate Rejects Gillibrand Sexual Assault Bill and Plague of Sexual Assaults.)