Forces: November 6, 1999

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Air Force General Richard Myers (head of Space Command) has been nominated to be the next Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Air Force is happy that one of their own was picked for a top spot, but is concerned that this will block it from getting an Air Force general into the top spot itself (since the law prohibits one service holding both jobs). Since the Joint Chiefs have existed, three Navy admirals, three Air Force generals, and eight Army generals have held the post; the Army has had it since 1989. If the Air Force retains the #2 spot (now held by General Ralston, due to move to Europe as NATO commander), the #1 spot would probably go to a Navy admiral or, in a first, a Marine general. The Air Force hopes that if Myers does get the Vice Chairmanship, he will move up to Chairman when Army General Hugh Shelton retires and let the Navy Department have the #2 spot.--Stephen V Cole

Senators gave Air Force General Ralston his marching orders on 27 Oct. While grilling him for confirmation as NATO commander, the Senators made it clear that his primary duty is to convince the NATO allies that they must spend more on defense while accepting continued US dominance of alliance commands.--Stephen V Cole

 


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