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Obama Orders Military To Review Sexual Assault

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BARACK OBAMA
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 18: U.S. President Barack Obama makes remarks after a meeting with a group of mothers in the Oval Office of the White House December 18, 2013 in Washington, DC. Obama met with the group of moms to discuss how health care reform effects their families. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) | Win McNamee via Getty Images

By NEDRA PICKLER, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is ordering a review of the military's response to sexual assault in the armed forces.

Obama says in a statement provided to The Associated Press that his administration has "an urgent obligation" to respond. The president is giving military leaders a year to report on their progress in responded to the crime — including in the military justice system.

The president's remarks are his first on legislation that would crack down on sexual assault passed by the Senate late Thursday.

Obama says if he doesn't see progress, he will consider further reforms to — quote — "eliminate this crime from our military ranks."

Obama isn't specifying what other reforms he would consider. The Senate is debating legislation that would take authority for prosecuting attackers away from commanders.

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