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Obama gives Pentagon a year to fix sexual assault scourge

Published on Dec 21, 2013 12:42 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Barack Obama Friday gave the Pentagon a year to fix the scourge of sexual assaults that have sparked calls for commanders to lose the power to adjudicate such crimes.

The military in August launched a raft of new measures to combat sexual assaults but their action did not appease some lawmakers who want much stronger measures to deal with hundreds of alleged offenses from harassment to rape.

Mr Obama, who has previously warned that sexual assaults harm military moral and US national security, said in a written statement that he had told Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey to continue efforts to prevent and deal with assaults.

"I have also directed that they report back to me, with a full-scale review of their progress, by December 1, 2014.

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