Dempsey Leaves Legacy Of Limited Reliance On US Military Intervention

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Photo by D. Myles Cullen

With Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford tapped as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey wraps up his tenure as the current chairman, leaving in his wake a legacy of using American military force with caution and care.


Dempsey’s careful approach to U.S. military intervention is reflected in his handling of the military’s 2014 return to Iraq to combat the Islamic State, where he pushed for tight restrictions on how American forces would operate in order to make Iraqi security forces do more on their own. Dempsey’s emphasis on caution has drawn fire from some, like Sen. John McCain, who feel that erring on the side of caution should not prevent military intervention.

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