This evening President Obama welcomed senior civilian defense and military leaders -- including all of his Combatant Commanders – to an annual meeting and dinner at the White House.
In addition to the President’s regular interactions with his senior military leaders, the meeting served as an important opportunity to discuss a number of critical issues facing the Department of Defense: the challenges of providing for the Nation’s security in an uncertain budget environment including sequester, the need to be ready and properly equipped to meet current and emerging threats, progress on the ongoing Quadrennial Defense Review, and the need to maintain the highest ethical standards across our military, including with respect to sexual assault prevention and response.
The President enjoys a close working relationship with his senior military leaders. They play a critical role in the deliberative process, and the President values their counsel. As Commander in Chief, he relies heavily on them to provide candid, direct advice with respect to when and how military force can be used as an effective tool to achieve our national security objectives. And he greatly respects and admires their steadfast devotion to duty and to protecting the American people from those who seek to do us harm.