Joint Chiefs chairman: U.S. lacks 'depth' to take on today's global threats

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Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford said China, Russia, Iran, North Korea and Islamic extremism pose some of the biggest U.S. defense challenges moving forward, and he doesn't think U.S. forces currently have the breadth to handle such a wide spectrum of threats.

Dunford made the comments during an interview this week at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.

“We need a balanced inventory of joint capabilities that are going to allow us to deter and defeat potential adversaries across the full range of military operations,” Dunford said. “We actually don’t have the luxury of choosing between a force that can fight ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and one that has a modern nuclear enterprise, robust cyber capabilities, robust space capabilities, (and robust) conventional and special operations capabilities.”

Dunford said the DoD needs to do a top-to-bottom inventory of its capabilities.

“The current inventory, from my perspective, doesn’t have the kind of depth that I would like it to have, and getting the balance right in addressing the lack of depth in areas like ballistic missile defense, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and certain logistics enablers, frankly, I think is going to be probably one of the biggest challenges during my tenure," Dunford said.


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