Retired Air Force Gen. Merrill McPeak, 14th Chief of Staff, last week was elected chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission, the federal agency charged with overseeing the commemorative sites honoring members of the US military. McPeak is the 10th chairman in the history of the commission, which Congress established in 1923. McPeak has been a member of the commission’s nine-member board since President Obama appointed him to it in June 2010. ABMC administers the 24 overseas military cemeteries that serve as resting places for almost 125,000 American war dead, the tablets of the missing that memorialize more than 94,000 US servicemen, and 25 additional memorials, monuments, and markers. (Commission website)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.