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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin Dempsey attended the 170th Chiefs of Defense Meeting in Brussels this past week where he and the other NATO chiefs discussed the ongoing transition in Afghanistan, cybersecurity, and increased threats on the alliance’s southern flank, according to a Jan. 23 Pentagon release. Dempsey said he is “encouraged that the alliance is beginning to understand some of the risks” it is facing from transnational threats emanating from North Africa and the Middle East, such as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb. “Now we have reached a point of entering into conversations about what as an alliance we might do about it,” said Dempsey. The Chiefs also discussed ways to “link” NATO’s cyber defense capabilities “together to make ourselves more capable in the cyber dimension,” he noted. While in Brussels, Dempsey also met with his Russian counterpart Gen. Valery V. Gerasimov to discuss US-Russian relations. He said the session was “very positive and constructive,” according to the report. The meeting will be followed by the NATO defense ministers’ meeting next month.