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A Conversation With the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Moderated by Eliot Cohen, Director of Strategic Studies

October 27, 2016

Noting that Johns Hopkins SAIS alumni are very well represented at the Department of Defense and throughout the federal government, General Joseph Dunford began his presentation with an appeal to students to consider careers in public service. The political environment has been challenging recently, he said, but solving our nation's pressing challenges will require the talent and valuable skills of graduates with global perspective.

Dunford continued by sharing the key responsibilities of his role, which include advising the president, developing the capabilities that US joint forces will need in the future, and strengthening the leaders these forces will need.

Dunford gave a detailed breakdown of challenges facing our military today, highlighting the adversarial competition between the US, Russia, and China which falls short of armed conflict but pressures each nation to advance its interests while actively working against the interests of rivals. He also discussed Iran, North Korea, and the threat of violent extremism worldwide.

Dunford ended his remarks on a positive note and was highly confident in the ability of US armed forces to protect the homeland and our way of life, to meet our alliance responsibilities, and to maintain a competitive advantage over any potential adversary. However, Dunford said the US must remain vigilant to ensure these abilities will continue for the next chairman of the joint chiefs of staff in the near future.

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