McCain Holds Up Dempsey’s Reconfirmation

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) last week said he was placing a hold on the Senate’s process of approving Army Gen. Martin Dempsey for a second two-year term as Joint Chiefs Chairman until Dempsey provided his opinion on US military intervention in Syria, reported Politico. McCain sparred with Dempsey on July 18 during the Senate Armed Services Committee’s hearing on Dempsey’s reappointment. McCain was upset that Dempsey would not provide the committee with his personal view on whether the risks to the United States of not intervening militarily in Syria would be greater than the risk of getting involved. McCain said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union show he had not yet received Dempsey’s answer. On July 19, McCain and SASC Chairman Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) sent Dempsey a letter asking Dempsey to respond to more questions about Syria. “I hope he will answer those,” said McCain of Dempsey on Sunday. Joint Chiefs Chairmen, like other senior uniformed military officers, “are required, and agree, to give their honest opinion even if it disagrees with the Administration’s opinion. General Dempsey didn’t do that. I’m confident that we can work this out,” said McCain. (State of the Union transcript)