Thursday, 04 June, 2020

Top US general voices support for transgender troops

General Joseph Dunford testifying at the Senate Committee hearing today Top US general voices support for transgender troops
Christy Curtis | 28 September, 2017, 01:32

While testifying at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today (Tuesday), US General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff warned that North Korea is America's greatest threat and is very close to having nuclear capability and that the US needed to behave accordingly. But as Dunford told Republican Sen. Mazie Hirono, who asked whether he stood by his 2015 assessment that Russian Federation, followed by China and North Korea, posed the greatest threats to the U.S.in order of severity.

Despite the tensions and threats, Dunford told the panel the US has not detected changes in the North Korean military posture, something which he said was being watched "very carefully".

During the wide-ranging hearing, Dunford voiced support for now serving transgender troops, telling the panel that anyone who meets the military's demanding standards and is capable of deploying should be allowed to continue to serve.

"The briefings I have received indicate that Iran is adhering to its JCPOA obligations", Dunford wrote.

Dunford said Tuesday that he has not met with any transgender servicemembers since they were approved to serve openly past year, but promised Gillibrand he would in the near future.

The Pentagon was blindsided July 26 when Trump fired off a series of three tweets, saying that after consulting with his generals and military experts, he had decided the government would not "accept or allow" transgender troops to serve in the military in any capacity.

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The White House's new us special envoy for efforts to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Kurt Volker, also has advocated providing lethal aid to Ukraine, saying in an interview in July with RFE/RL it is needed to counter Russia's "large, large military presence" in eastern Ukraine.

Transgender soldiers were granted the right to serve openly by the Obama administration a year ago. The guidance left it up to the Defense Department to decide the fate of now serving transgender troops.

Trump went after trans soldiers first with a tweet in late July, which was then followed up by a formal guidance sent to the Pentagon last month, saying the Pentagon should submit final plans to the White House on implementation of the transgender ban by February 21. Officials review EU-US privacy pact Senate passes 0B defense bill MORE (D-N.Y.) whether he agrees that now serving transgender troops have served with "honor and valor", Gen. Joseph Dunford replied, "I do".

Gillibrand said the uncertainty facing transgender service members has been "deeply unsettling" to many members of the committee. "Now, they have been plunged into a career of uncertainty, and their service and sacrifices have been unfairly tarnished".

She asked Dunford if he had had the chance to meet with any transgender troops since the ban was announced.

When one senator noted the tension stemming from rhetoric between the two nations, Dunford said that the military had been careful not to "exacerbate" the situation with statements about destroying the Kim regime, but he would not comment on "senior political leadership". "I will fix the mess", said Trump.

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