Vice Chairman Nominee Pledges to Advocate for Troops

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If confirmed as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten pledged to the Senate Armed Services Committee that he would continue to be an advocate for service members.

President Donald J. Trump nominated Hyten — the commander of U.S. Strategic Command — to succeed Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva, who will retire tomorrow.

“If confirmed, I look forward to working across the Department of Defense with our friends and allies, members of the interagency, members of Congress to address an ever-widening spectrum of challenges confronting our nation.” Hyten said. “While we have not yet ceded our advantage, we are facing challenges across all domains, and particularly in areas of long-held superiority, like space and cyberspace.”

The United States must address the challenges emanating from China and Russia, Hyten said, noting that those countries have long-term strategies to supplant the United States as the leading world power. The totalitarian regimes can pursue these goals without distractions from democratically elected legislatures. 

We must be prepared to meet … threats directly head-on in order to deter and dissuade adversary aggression and, if necessary, fight and win our nation’s conflicts.”

Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, nominee, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

The United States must also answer lesser threats from North Korea, Iran and violent extremism, the general said. These threats will endure, and America “cannot lose focus on these asymmetric challenge and the challenge they represent,” he added.

The United States must maintain the best military, Hyten said, and that includes recruiting and retaining the best possible personnel and arming them with the best weapons and capabilities the country can provide.

“We do not ever want a fair fight,” he said. “We must be prepared to meet the threats directly head-on in order to deter and dissuade adversary aggression and, if necessary, fight and win our nation’s conflicts. To do this, we must maintain our ready and lethal force, and we cannot break the bank doing it.”

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