Top US general recommends not kicking out transgender troops

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The relations between the United States and North Korea are tense now, but this atmosphere "in charge" remains more political than military, has assured on Tuesday the chief of staff american general Joe Dunford, stressing, however, the technological advances made by Pyongyang.

Testifying before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his reappointment to the top Pentagon post, Dunford was asked about recent military assessments of Kim Jong-un's ability to threaten the US with nuclear weapons.

Earlier this year Donald Trump took to Twitter to announce that he would impose a ban on transgender soldiers serving openly in the military.

"I would say that I believe any individual who meets the physical and mental standards and is worldwide deployable and is now serving should be afforded the opportunity to continue to serve", he said.

"If reconfirmed, I look forward to working together with the committee to ensure the chairman testifying in 2025 has the same degree of confidence in our ability to provide for the common defense", Dunford said.

Dunford said Tuesday that he has not met with any transgender servicemembers since they were approved to serve openly past year, but promised Gillibrand he would in the near future.

Noting that the US-India military relationship is strong and getting stronger, Dunford said the two countries cooperate through complex naval exercises such as Malabar in the Bay of Bengal as well as robust engagement through defence trade and technology cooperation.

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Mattis has promised transgender servicemembers will not be removed from service until the panel, led by Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, has completed its study. "What I just articulated is the advice I provided in private, and I've just provided in public".

Dunford was first nominated to be chairman by former President Obama in 2015.

The Trump administration has desperately sought a pretext to scrap or weaken the 2015 deal and get rid of the limits the deal imposes on the United States ability to pursue more hostile policies against Iran.

Mattis said he would establish a panel of experts to determine how to implement Trump's order and that now serving transgender troops would not be separated from the military while that study is ongoing.

Trump directed the military to indefinitely extend the ban on transgender individuals enlisting in the service, but he left it up to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to decide if those now serving should be allowed to stay.

The White House changed policy matters related to transgender troops in July.

Asked by Gillibrand on Tuesday whether he's met with transgender troops since Trump's announcement, Dunford said he has not, but committed to do so.

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