Gen. Dempsey: U.S. Reaction on Benghazi ‘Appropriately Responsive’

Sunday, 03 Feb 2013 12:04 PM

By Amy Woods

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Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Sunday the United States was “appropriately responsive” in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi that left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens

“I have great confidence in reporting to the American people that we were appropriately responsive, given what we knew at the time,” Dempsey said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “It was 911 elsewhere in the world, not just in Libya.”

He would not, however, report the troop-drawdown number in Afghanistan targeted for the end of 2014, and said the Joint Chiefs of Staff hasn’t determined it yet.

“Our numbers after ’14 can be modest,” Dempsey said. “I can’t give you a number because, first of all, I’m not going to announce a number on CNN on Sunday. We really don’t have a number selected yet.”

He said the objective in the region is to maintain an “equilibrium” with regard to the campaign, the retrograde, or withdrawal, and force protection.

With regard to Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama’s nominee for secretary of defense, Dempsey described the former Nebraska senator as “thoughtful,” “well-prepared,” and “interested.”

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