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Editorial: Military is hindered by crisis of sexual abuse

America's military leadership is facing a crisis of sexual abuse within all branches of service, which is costing the respect and trust of the men and women in uniform as well as the public.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff conceded as much Tuesday at a congressional hearing stating the Defense Department and its military branches have failed to address the sexual assault issue effectively.

One general even called the sexual assault issue a "cancer" within the military.

The Pentagon now estimates that nearly 26,000 military members experienced sexual assault in 2012.

A number of senators have expressed their growing frustration with the military's sexual assault crisis.

"Not every single commander necessarily wants women in the force," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said according to an Associated Press report.

"You have lost the trust of the men and women who rely on you," Gillibrand said.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., reportedly told the military leaders that he can no longer recommend that women choose the military as a career due to this crisis..

The scourge of sexual assault has become a stain upon the honor of our military as well as country. The crisis is impacting our military's readiness and morale.

This situation must be immediately addressed by the military leadership and Congress if necessary.