Washington, DC: US president Barack Obama on Monday finished an overhaul of his national security team, selecting US Army Gen Martin Dempsey as the next chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, even as fighting in Afghanistan heated up post-Osama bin Laden's assassination. The United States is also involved in the NATO-led effort against Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi and is in the process of winding down its involvement in Iraq.
In late April, the president had already nominated CIA director Leon Panetta to succeed Robert Gates as secretary of defence and Army Gen David Petraeus to step into Panetta's shoes at the CIA. Gen Petraeus is currently commanding the Afghanistan theatre.
The president described Gen Dempsey, an accomplished veteran of the Iraq war, to succeed Adm Mike Mullen as his top military adviser, calling Dempsey "one of our nation's most respected and combat-tested generals."
The president also announced he had chosen Navy Adm James Winnefeld to succeed Marine Gen James Cartwright as vice chairman of the joint chiefs and Army Gen Ray Odierno as his candidate to replace Dempsey as Army chief of staff.
All nominees have to be approved by the US Senate.
Gen Dempsey began a four-year term as Army chief of staff on April 11.