Obama Vows Sustained Effort On Military Sex Abuse

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After changing course and deciding to seek congressional approval for military action, Obama is confronted with one of his most difficult foreign policy tests and faces a Congress divided over the unavoidably tough vote-of-conscience on overseas conflict rather than the more customary partisan fights over domestic policy. (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

After changing course and deciding to seek congressional approval for military action, Obama is confronted with one of his most difficult foreign policy tests and faces a Congress divided over the unavoidably tough vote-of-conscience on overseas conflict rather than the more customary partisan fights over domestic policy. (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama pledged Thursday to “leave no stone unturned” in the effort to put an end to sexual assault in the military, which he said undermined the armed services. He said the nation’s military leaders are “ashamed” about their failure to stop it.

Obama also said he has asked Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey to lead a process to root out the problem.

“They care about this and they are angry about it,” Obama said at the White House, after he summoned the nation’s top defense leaders for a meeting to discuss the problem. “I heard directly from all of them that they are ashamed by some of what’s happened.”

The meeting follows a recent string of misconduct cases and a Pentagon report showing that as many as 26,000 military members may have been sexually assaulted last year.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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