Joint Chiefs chair cites military sex abuse crisis

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. military officer says women in uniform are losing confidence that the problem of sexual assault in the armed forces can be solved.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, says that diminishing confidence is a crisis for the military.

Dempsey spoke about the problem Wednesday during a flight from Europe to Washington. His remarks were reported by the Pentagon's internal news service.

Dempsey suggests that a deepening of the sexual assault problem may be linked to the strains of war, though he says that's not an excuse.

A Pentagon report estimates that as many as 26,000 military members may have been sexually assaulted last year, based on survey results, out of 1.4 million in the services.

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