What the Generals Are Talking About

Chuck Hagel, Martin Dempsey

Considering the rich and varied menu of threats to our national security on offer these days, the leadership at the Department of Defense—the part of the government meant to secure us from foreign enemies—can at times seem to have misplaced its focus.

Take the curious fact reported in the press over the weekend that General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was heard to say in a “recent meeting” that “combating Ebola” is the DOD’s “number one priority.”

General Dempsey Attacks, Defeats Army of Straw Men in FP Article

Gen. Martin Dempsey (AP)

General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and principal military adviser to President Obama, has written an article for Foreign Policy magazine, stating his view of the military’s role in America’s foreign affairs.

Written in a slick, corporate-sounding, richly euphemistic style, the average reader may be left wondering just what, precisely, the point of the article is. Who could disagree with such comments as “a new century [has] brought new dangers,” or, “In each region of the world, we face serious — but very different — security challenges”?