Obama Names Army Gen. as Chief Military Adviser

President Obama named Army Gen. Martin Dempsey as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Monday morning in a White House Rose Garden ceremony, calling him “one of our nation’s most respected and combat-tested generals.”

Dempsey, who was named Army chief of staff just last month, will replace Adm. Mike Mullen, whose term ends Sept. 30, as the president’s top military adviser.

The Washington Post’s Greg Jaffe writes:

“Dempsey has spent much of the last decade leading troops in a messy, low-tech war in Iraq and is deeply skeptical of technology’s ability to alter the basic nature of combat.

“‘We operate where our enemies, indigenous populations, culture, politics, and religion intersect and where the fog and friction of war persists,’ he wrote recently in the introduction to the Army’s main operating concept.”

Gen. Ray Odierno, who commanded troops in Iraq from 2008 through 2010, is expected to take Dempsey’s place as Army chief of staff.

The nominations must be approved by the Senate.

After making his military personnel announcements, President Obama headed to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns to mark Memorial Day.

More news headlines:

Taliban Attack Italian Base in Afghanistan

The Taliban exploded a suicide car bomb in front of the Italian-run Provincial Reconstruction Team headquarters in the western Afghan city of Herat on Monday, killing at least four people and wounding 38 others.

A spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said although there were some injuries among coalition forces, there were no fatalities.

Storms Pound Michigan

More than 100,000 customers in Battle Creek, Mich. remained without electricity Monday after severe thunderstorms hit the state, felling trees and damaging power lines.

In Chicago, weather forced the cancellation of 450 flights out of O’Hare International Airport.

Endeavour Heads Toward Earth

The space shuttle Endeavour has undocked from the International Space Station to begin its descent toward Earth after delivering a $2 billion particle detector for scientific experiments and numerous spare parts for the space station.

Once back on Earth, Endeavour will be decommissioned and delivered to the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

During the shuttle’s final mission, NewsHour science correspondent Miles O’Brien spoke to the astronauts using viewer-generated questions.

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