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Sun Apr 22, 2012, 06:27 PM

Gen. Dempsey: US In For 'Wild Ride' In The Middle East Over The Next Decade [View all]

By Carlo Munoz - 04/22/12 06:58 AM ET

America is heading into an increasingly tumultuous decade in the Middle East, punctuated by repeated popular uprisings that will continue to dismantle long-standing power structures in the region, according to the Pentagon's top uniformed officer.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he believes the fallout from the ongoing Arab Spring movement will eventually lead to a more democratic Middle East.

"I think getting from here to there is going to be a wild ride. And so I think we're in for 10 or 15 years of instability in a region that has already been characterized by instability," Dempsey told members of the House Armed Services Committee during Thursday's hearing.

That approaching period of increased instability comes as the Pentagon is beginning to shift its focus from the Middle East to the Pacific. The move was a key tenet in the White House's new national security strategy issued in February.



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