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Gen. Dempsey adresses the fight against ISIS to crowd at UNC-CH

Posted February 6, 2015
Updated February 7, 2015

— Gen. Martin Dempsey, the nation's top military adviser to President Obama, spoke at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Friday night. 

In what he called a "conversation," Dempsey addressed the fight against the militant group ISIS and how he views the role of today's military. He said he is confident that the way the U.S. is approaching ISIS, on what he called several "lines of effort," is the right approach. 

"Reconstruction, good governance by the Iraqi government, counter financing, counter foreign fighting, and counter messaging," he said. 

In his speech Friday evening, Dempsey said the military is a small part of the strategic plan against ISIS, based on lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

"If the military line of effort in that environment outpaces the other lines of effort, you end up exactly how we ended up at the end of the last decade," he said. 

Gen. Dempsey called the U.S. military our country's insurance policy against threats and said he and his staff have figured out what the future of the U.S. fighting force should look like. His statement comes just days after military leaders were at Fort Bragg for a community listening session about troop reduction. But Gen. Dempsey said it is not just about numbers. 

"You got to be out there assuring allies, deterring potential adversaries, building partners, building a capacity of partners," he said. "We think we understand what that looks like, how much of the force needs to be forward and how much needs to be back in a training regiment."

Dempsey said that with a $500 billion defense budget, the military must be efficient, while being responsible with taxpayers money. 

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  • Wayne R. Douglas Feb 7, 2015
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    I hope this speech was not given to students. They seem to believe that personal opinions, which differ than their own, are supposed to be suppressed. Gen. Dempsey, please make sure that you don't offend African Americans. Because you are white, they will oppose anything you say or think or believe.