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updated: 7/26/2011 9:48 AM

Army chief sees cybersecurity as "defining issue"

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration's nominee to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is telling Congress that he expects cybersecurity to be a defining issue of his tenure.

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, in testimony at his Senate confirmation hearing, also said he supports President Barack Obama's decision to withdraw 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year and another 23,000 by September 2012.

Dempsey faced questioning about pressure for major cuts in the defense budget. He says he realizes that if he is confirmed by the full Senate -- as is widely anticipated -- he expects to lead a military that faces what he called "a new fiscal reality."

Dempsey is currently the Army chief of staff.