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tv   Defense Press Secretary Holds Briefing  CSPAN  January 24, 2022 8:01pm-8:48pm EST

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the situation between russia and ukraine. in a look at how the u.s. and its allies might respond in order to de-escalate tensions. that's followed by the small business administration's inspector general testifying about challenges facing the agency. later president biden talks about efforts to reduce inflation. announcer: at the pentagon, the press secretary announced that 8500 u.s. troops are now on heightened preparedness to deploy in light of escalating tensions between the ukraine and russia. he answered reporters' questions for nearly 45 minutes. >> good afternoon, everybody. just one thing here at the top, as you are all aware, the united states is deeply concerned about the current situation in europe. we remain keenly focused on russia's unusual military
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activities near the ukrainian border, including in belarus. and consulting extensively with our transatlantic allies and partners. the department continues to support diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the situation. now, as the president has said, even as we continue to prioritize diplomacy and dialogue, we must also increase readiness. in support of its obligations to the security and defense of nato and the security of its citizens abroad, at the direction of the president and following recommendations made by secretary austin, the united states has taken steps to heighten the readiness of its forces, at home and abroad, so that they are prepared to respond to a range of contingencies, including support to the nato response force, if it is activated. as you have heard may describe -- me describe many times, our commitment to nato allies in the article 5 commitment are ironclad. as the president has also made clear, the united states will act firmly in defense of its
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national interests in response to actions by russia that harm us, our allies, our partners. as part of that commitment, the department of defense maintains significant combat capable forces forward in europe to deter aggression and enhance the ability to defend allies and defeat aggression if necessary. the united states also has a commitment to provide forces to the nato response force, otherwise known as the nrf. in the event that nato should activate that construct. as you may know, the nrf is a multinational force made up of land, air, maritime, and special operation forces, all components that the alliance can deploy on short notice, whenever needed. altogether, the nrf comprises around 40,000 multinational troops. within the nrf is something called the very high readiness joint task force, or vj tf.
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this nrf element, which is about 20,000 strong across all domains, includes a multinational land brigade of about 5000 troops, air, maritime, and special operation forces components. i want to provide facts on these preparations that will reinforce our commitment to nato and the nato response force and increase our readiness. secretary austin has placed a range of units in the united states on a heightened preparedness to deploy. which increases our readiness to provide forces, if nato should activate the nrf, or if other situations develop. all told, the number of forces that the secretary has placed on heightened alert comes up to about 8500 personnel. we will continue to provide updates in the coming days about these decisions. but specifically, this will ensure that the united states and our commitment to the nrf is
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consistent with their readiness for rapid deployment, again, if activated. in the event of nato's activation of the nrf, or deteriorating security environment, the united states would be in a position to rapidly deploy additional combat teams, logistics, medical, aviation, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, transportation, and additional capabilities in europe. again, i want to reinforce, as of now, the decision has been made to put these units on higher alert, and higher alert only. no decisions have been made to deploy any forces from the united states at this time. and when i say heightened alert, in some cases, some of these forces were already in a heightened posture, ready to -- readiness to deploy posture, and the secretary decided to make it even more, shorten the tether even more. so in some cases, units would go from 10 days prepared to deploy,
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now they are at five days. that is not the case for every unit that is been notified they are on heightened alert. some are simply more ready and postured that way than others. the idea is that all of these units that he is putting on prepared to deploy will be ready to go on a certain timeframe. -- on a shortened timeframe. again, no final decision has been made to deploy them. the secretary will continue to consult with the president and the united states will maintain close coronation with allies and -- close coordination with allies and partners as we continue to review our posture and make decisions regarding movement of forces within and into europe. as always, we remain in close coronation with allies and partners as well as nato and multilateral organizations as we continue to review our posture and as we make decisions regarding potential movements of forces into europe and view the disposition of u.s. forces on the continent. with that, we will take questions. bob, i think you are on the line.
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reporter: thank you, john. of that 8500 troops that you mentioned, are those u.s.-based only? and are they intended only for deployment, as part of activation of the rapid response force? or might they be sent for other reinforcement purposes in eastern europe? and lastly, why did the secretary and the president decide to do this now? what has changed in the last two days? on friday, you mentioned, as you had many times before, that the u.s. was prepared to reinforce in eastern europe, if there was russian encouragement only. -- if there were a russian incursion only. >> i think i remembered all three. let me try. first, yes, up to 8500, i want to stress it is up to 8500. no decisions to deploy have been
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made. this is about getting units on advanced-alert, it does not mean they are going anywhere. up to 8500 that i talked about -- they are all u.s.-based. i'm sorry, bob, the second question was? >> are they intended only for nato rapid response force or perform other reinforcement functions? -- or could they perform other reinforcement functions? >> the bulk of them are intended for the nato response force. the majority of. as i said in the opening statement, the secretary wants us postured to be ready for any other contingencies. but the bulk of them are aligned for the nato response force. and then the third question was on timing. i think we have been watching this very closely. i also said that at the top, it is very clear that the russians have no intentions of de- escalating. -- no intention right now of de-escalating. because not every one of these units that we are notifying are in a heightened state of alert, all of them are not in a
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heightened state of alert, it made prudent sense for the secretary to want to give them as much time to prepare to be on a shorter tether as you can, just in case. again, i want to stress, particularly with the nato response force, it has not been activated, it is a nato call to make. but we have contributions to that response force, as do other nations. as i said, it is 40,000 some odd strong. our contributions do not come near the 40,000 number. other nations are going to have to contribute, as well. but for our part, unilaterally, we want to make sure that we are ready in case the call should come, and that means making sure the units that contribute to it are as ready as they can be on a -- on as short a notice as possible. >> what specific military capabilities do the u.s. troops bring to europe? these 8500. second, could you say with
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some specificity what is the exact mission for these troops? and what will your measure of success be? how will you know when the mission is accomplished? >> yeah, so on capabilities, i touched on this in the opening statement. again, when we are able to identify the units, we will do that. the reason why i do not have specific units is because they are being notified, as well as family members. i think you can understand we do not want to get ahead of that notification process. but broadly speaking, as i mentioned at the top, these would be additional brigade combat teams, logistics personnel, medical support, aviation support, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance as well as transportation and maybe additional capabilities after that. again, when we can identify for you, the units, i think you will see that they cover the broad scope of those capabilities for
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-- scope of those capabilities. the missions have not been signed. the ready response force has not been activated. there is not a mission per se, this is about the secretary wanting to get ahead of the potential activation and make sure the units have time to prepare if and only if they are deployed. and then you asked about success, there has been no activation, so there is no -- there has been no mission assigned. so it is difficult to give you a -- an up check or down check on what equates success. what this is about is reassurance to our nato allies and we have been talking about that for quite some time ago we will be ready and we will be prepared to help bolster our allies with capabilities that they might need, and we will do this in lockstep with them and with the alliance. this is really about reassuring the eastern flank of nato, and i kind of covered this, barb, it
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is proving how seriously the united states takes our commitment to nato and the article 5 commitment inside nato. >> how do you know when your military goals are achieved? >> again, there has been no mission assigned right now. this is about getting troops ready. back to what we are trying to achieve is a couple of things. obviously, we would like to do -- like to deter russian president vladimir putin and another incursion. number two, make sure we are bolstering and staying unified with the alliance. that the alliance stays strong. so the large bulk and reason for -- of the reason for these prepare to deploy orders is to make sure that we are ready to bolster the nato alliance and to improve the solidarity of the nato alliance. those are the two big outcomes here. but again, no mission has been
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assigned to the troops. no deployment orders have been sent. what the secretary has ordered is for them to be ready to go, in some cases on a much shorter tether than what they had before. >> john, can you rule out sending u.s. troops to the ukraine? -- to ukraine? >> i think the president has spoken to that. as you know, we do have advisors and some trainers in ukraine, they are still there. at their work. >> if you are not willing to send troops to ukraine, what makes you think that this will deter vladimir putin? >> i think there are a whole package of things that the administration is looking at to try to -- try to deter vladimir putin from invading including severe economic consequences. this is about sending a strong message that we are committed to nato and we are committed to showing our allies have the capabilities they need.
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to defend themselves. >> do you need the aumf to send troops? >> i am not aware of any such requirement. we have long-standing commitments, we are one of many nations that will contribute to it, this is very much in keeping with the policy and procedures that have been laid down for activation of the nrf. again, if it is activated, and it has not been. david. >> are most of these 8500 ground forces? would they go to the eastern link? -- eastern flank? have you put any units in europe on alert? >> i think, again, yes, i think the bulk of them would be considered ground forces, david. as for europe, there are a lot of force capabilities already on
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the european continent, under general walters. and i am absolutely not ruling out the possibility that there will be intra-theater moves as well inside europe to bolster nato allies on the eastern flank. that kind of gets at your second question, which is, we are still in consultation with the allies about what they might need, so i do not have any decisions to read out in terms of specific locations. but we certainly have made it clear to the eastern flank allies that we are prepared to bolster their capabilities, if they needed it. i want to go back to a core foundation here -- the bulk of the troops that i'm talking about today are intended for the nato response force, the vast majority of them. and that response force can only be activated by the alliance, it has not been. it is our contribution to the response force. and we want to make sure they
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are ready to go. i think it is really important to keep remembering that. no deployment orders have been sent, no missions have been assigned, this is about getting folks ready to go. in case they are needed. courtney. >> the ones that would not be assigned to the nato response force, they would go in unilaterally on behalf of the united states. to some neighbors. can you give us a number of how many that would be? >> i cannot do that right now. it really depends on the need. and we are still in consultation with allies about the need. it would be hard to give you a hard number right now, we are in active discussions with our allies about additional capabilities they may need on top of or outside of the nato response force. >> does that include some of the intra-theater moves? >> it could. >> there could be movement within ucomm that would not be
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part of the nato response force? >> yes, ma'am. >> is there a consideration or decision about pulling troops -- pulling u.s. troops out of ukraine? as they have made already the decision to pull some americans out? >> there has been no decisions about moving trainers in ukraine out. but as i said many times, we are constantly looking at the situation. we will do what is right for their safety and security. that is paramount to us. but as of right now, they are still on the ground in ukraine conducting their missions. -- there advise and assist missions. if that changes, we will let you know. >> they have not changed the number, rate? -- right? the footprint remains the same? >> they remain the same. >> let me go to the phone. jared. >> hello. sentcom just put out a statement about a missile attack at the united arab emirate saying that the u.s. missile systems at the airbase engaged.
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is the department treating this as a potential attack on u.s. forces? or was this done to assist our partners? -- assist -- assist emirati partners? can you give us details on that? >> i do not want to get into intelligence assessments. this just happened early monday morning. clearly, we have troops there. we are certainly going to be looking into the possibility that this was directed at our forces. we obviously take that seriously. you have seen the statement, we responded to the attack, this ballistic missile attack. we will be in close coordination with our partners, as we continue to assess what happened and what we might need to do going forward. i do not have -- i cannot specifically tell you what the intent of the attack was. but we have to assume, it would
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be foolish not to assume, that there was a threat to our people. and as you saw from the results, we took that threat seriously. rio. >> thank you. i have a quick question about china. the u.s. navy is operating two carriers in the western pacific, and they recently conducted a large-scale military exercise in japan. is this a message to china that china should not do something provocative while the u.s. is working intensively with ukraine? thank you. >> we engaged in joint operations to include maritime communications, antisubmarine air warfare, replenishment's at sea, -- replenishments at sea,
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cross deck flight operations, the whole scope when we operate as the and when we have the opportunity. it is not unusual for us to take advantage of the opportunity when you have two aircraft carriers in the same body of water to exercise together. we do this to strengthen our errands the operations and combat readiness. i would reiterate that all the training will be conducted in accordance with international law and waters. >> i have a question about korea and china. they mentioned the possibility that north korea -- [indiscernible] and she pointed out that this was intended to pressure the united states. what is the u.s. response to the imminent test fire of the north koreans? >> i will not get ahead of test
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fire launches that have not happened yet. but we have been very clear about our concerns over the advancing nuclear ambitions and ballistic capabilities of pyongyang. we continue to condemn it and call on the north to cease provocations and abide by international law and security council resolutions and try to find ways to de- escalate. -- find ways to de-escalate. we have said clearly we would be willing to sit down with them without preconditions because they have shown no desire to move that forward. >> china justifies north korean missile provocations, do you think china's -- for the north korean provocation is part of the competition?
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with the u.s.? >> i think you would have to ask president xi that. look, china is a neighbor, a direct neighbor of north korea. they have influence in pyongyang. we know that, they know that, pyongyang knows that. and we continue to call on china to use the influence that they have to support the international community. and un security council resolutions that china themselves have signed up for, to help get them enacted and to support the sanctions. support them and to enforce them in a comprehensive and cohesive way, which the chinese have not always done. let me go back to -- i will go to nancy and then the phones. >> just a couple clarifying points. is there a time limit to this deployment order? or is it open-ended? if it is open-ended, will there be a timeline for another order?
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to stand down essentially? >> remember what it is. it is telling a unit, or in this case several units, to be prepared to deploy on a shorter tether than it was before. in some cases, it was 10 days and now it is five. there is no time limit on that preparation order. because we do not know if or when they would be activated or deployed. to courtney's question, the vast majority are comprised with our contribution to the nato task force. there are some that we are advancing their alert posture that are simply unilateral, that we would consider sending on our own, again, in concert with allies. you have to talk to the folks that will host them and make sure it's okay. but there is not a specific time limit assigned right now. it is something that the secretary will continue to look
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at, certainly if not weekly, then daily, to make sure that it is still the appropriate tether to have these troops on. >> you mentioned that it would be in support of the nato mission. at any point, would they be under nato commander? or would general walters be wearing a different hat when he takes command of them? >> i cannot get into specifics of control. the response force has not been activated. but you're right -- general walters is the supreme allied commander in europe, the head nato commander, ultimately they would all be reporting under him. what the exact chain of command would be is difficult to say when they have not been activated. let me go back here, kelly meyer from news nation. >> thank you for taking my question. i know you were talking and saying diplomacy is not done. -- is not dead here. but with the u.s. now preparing to send troops to allies on the eastern flank, is this further
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agitating russia? we are telling diplomat families to leave and americans to leave, so is this moving on from a diplomatic effort to prepare for invasion? >> not at all. again, what we are telling units to do is to be ready to go on a shorter timeline than what they were before. we are not deploying them now. we are not saying diplomacy is dead. you heard secretary blinken talk about this on sunday in many outlets, that he still believes there is room for discussion and dialogue. i said that myself in my opening statement. we absolutely still believe that there is time and space for that. and frankly, the department of defense supports that as being the way forward, a way to a solution that de-escalates tensions. but it would be irresponsible, given the indications that we have, that there is no intent by the russians to de-escalate, and given that it takes time to
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get units for ready to go on a -- more ready to go on a shorter timeline, it would be irresponsible if we did not think about making sure that they had plenty of time to prepare. and that is all we are doing at this point. let's see. john. >> can you hear me? can you hear me? >> yes, sir. i got ya. >> ok. to activate something like this, you probably need the air force in place. have you increased the number of tankers that will be involved throughout europe to anticipate that there could be a bomber task force deployment to europe in the near future? >> i refer to you -- >> i refer you to ucomm for things like bomber task force plans. i do not have things to talk about like that today. please remember, this is about just putting units on a heightened alert. that does not mean they will be jumping on planes tomorrow and leaving.
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obviously, if there is a need for additional air transport, we will deal with that. transportation command is tracking these prepared to deploy orders and it will be postured, if needed. that is if needed. all we are doing is placing them on heightened alert. tom. >> thanks, john. good afternoon. nato is supporting the eastern members as well as ukraine, is that support more complicated today because general walters -- there are not one but several gaps on invasion routes? >> i will try to repeat your question, because i'm not sure i totally got it. are you talking about evacuation routes of americans leaving ukraine? and is that harder to do now? is that it? >> can you hear me okay? can you hear me now? >> i got you. i'm not sure i got your
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question. >> let me repeat it. is the preparations by nato more complicated now to support the eastern members and ukraine -- because unlike during the cold war when there is one full the gap, there are no more than one. >> without getting into historical comparison, it's usually not useful to go back into history to try to find exact comparisons. the acts russia appears to be taking to threaten its neighbor further and to violate further violate ukraine's territorial integrity certainly makes things for intense on the european continent. what i can tell you is that we remain committed to the alliance, and we absolutely remain committed to bolstering the capabilities of the eastern
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flank to the degree that they desire that extra support. i don't think anyone wants to see a war on the european continent, and there is no reason that could occur. -- that has to occur. this could be solved very easily by the russians de-escalating and moving forces away, which they haven't done. and so nato, as a defensive alliance, and it is a defensive alliance, has a responsibility its members to make sure they're able to defend themselves if needed, and that's the spirit in which the secretary has made these early heightened alert decisions. jen? >> just a point of clarification. if nato is a defensive alliance, and these troops, if they are activated, are defensive and
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therefore frontline nato states, how does this protect ukraine? how does it stop put in from going into ukraine? >> it's designed to reassure our nato allies. -- >> how does it protect ukraine? >> jen, it sends a very clear signal to mr. putin that we take our responsibilities to nato seriously. and we are also working inside the international community to implement severe consequences for mr. putin, if her to go again into ukraine. largely, those are of an economic -- economic consequences. so i get where your question is. i'm trying to be very clear. we obviously don't want to see another incursion in ukraine. we're using lot of efforts to try to communicate why that would be a bad thing for russia
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to do. but number two, and it's not a -- it is not an insignificant number two, is to make sure nato stays unified and nato and our allies are able to defend themselves, and that is what this decision is all about. it is about putting these forces on a heightened alert in case nato needs them. david? >> is there a process by which this nato response ford is -- force is activated? does it have to be a meeting? is it a political decision or just a tactical military decision? what is it? >> it's a nato decision, david. i'd refer you to go through the puts and takes of exactly how that decision gets made. but i'm sure it has to be one where all the allies are consulted, and it is a political military thing. i don't -- but i think i would refer you to nato on the specifics of it, about how they activate the nrf.
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>> does it require unanimity? >> i'll refer you to nato. i'll refer you to nato. >> two questions. 1 -- what kind of action would spark an order to deploy? what would be seen that could lead to a deployment? >> as i said, the vast majority of these troops that we've put on prepare to deploy are to support the nrf. the nato response force. it would be a decision by needle to activate the nrf. >> can you say what would activate the nrf? >> i won't speak for the alliance. i would refer you to nato to speak about how the decision is made and under what circumstances they would make it. our job is to make sure that if
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they do, we're ready to go. >> second question -- you said a couple times that the russians show no sign of deescalation. are they escalating -- are they adding any more forces, equipment from a week ago to two weeks ago? has their presence on the border enlarged or changed in a qualitative way that is escalatory? >> yes. it's gotten bigger. i'd refer you to the russian ministry of defense. they can speak to their force movements. we have been very clear from the podium and i'm not going to get into talking about their troop movements. but they continue to add troops to their western border, to the border with ukraine and belarus, as well. the numbers there are increasing. they have not only shown signs of deescalating, but they are adding more force capability.
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>> i'm unclear. >> the nato response force, the assumption that it could be activated in advance of an invasion. >> that would be a last call. >> what's your understanding? is it your understanding this is something that could be possible -- that these are troops that could be called up and sent for ford -- sent forward? >> again, i'd refer you to brussels court. it is a decision for nato to make. the criteria for activating it is for them to speak to, not to us. it's an existing response force, right? and when it was established, it wasn't established specifically for the purposes of russia invading ukraine again. so i don't know that there's a specific limitation that it can only be activated -- but that would be an alliance decision. that would be a discussion inside nato, inside the political leadership of nato. again, i just don't know.
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what we're trying to do is to make sure if it is, whenever that is, we're ready to go. >> can i go back on one thing? for the troops, the u.s. troops that might deploy, while they may get some kind of extra pay for deployment, can you find out for us whether or not they will get any kind of hazard pay, combat pay, to go into a situation where you clearly see potential hostile intent? can you find that out? >> i will take the question. i have no idea today. >> defense news -- >> thank you. joe gruth, defense news? >> hey, joe. thanks for taking my question. thanks for doing this. you talk about troops being on high alert, but what kinds of equipment is being respond to participate in the nrf, which is, as nato bills it, a land- air ameritime corps, and does the department have any plans for deliveries of equipment
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that's already approved for sale to the european allies? maybe, like, for finland or patriots for poland? sweden and romania? thank you. >> will have to talk to the state department. that's their department. not ours. as for the kinds of -- i guess you were asking about systems. as i said, these are brigade combat teams, logistics personnel, medical, aviation, aviation support, of course all the kinds of logistical and sustainment support that would go to be able to keep these forces in the field for an extended period of time, transportation. command and control capabilities, communication capabilities, as well as the systems themselves. i think a lot more specificity will be clear once we identify for you the units. we're just not able to do that for you today, because unit notification is ongoing.
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i think you can understand -- we wouldn't want to find out from me at the podium they're being put on a shorter tether. we want to do this right away. but as we identify the units, i think the answers -- the specific answers to your question will be a lot more clear. >> thanks very much for doing this. can you give an update on u.s. support from the syrian democratic forces fighting for isis in sakra, now extending into a sixth day? in regards to engaging them. reports seem to suggest they are, and is the pentagon reviewing austrian serbia, -- austria and syria -- separately on burkina faso? what is the effect the coup is having on counterterrorism efforts? >> yeah come on burkina faso,
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i'm going to have to take the question and get back to you. i'm not aware of any impact right now. so let me just take that question. on coalition support for the syrian democratic forces, ongoing efforts to deal with this prison break, and i would refer you to ir for more detail here. -- to oir for more detail here. i've already talked about this a little bit -- we have helped provide real-time surveillance during the event. we have conducted a series of strikes through this days-long operation to include the precision targeting of fighters attacking the scf in the area, and we have provided ground support to assist security in the area, for instance, putting fighting vehicles across access points to help block the obstacles. there's been some limited ground support. beyond that, i would refer you to oir to get more details. tony capaccio?
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>> two quick questions. are the 8,500 a blend of active duty or national guard, or all active duty? >> i think the large portion of them is going to be active duty, tony, but i can't swear to you that there won't be reservists involved in this, as well. again, all this will become more clear once we're able to identify the specific units. but the vast majority will be active duty. louie martinez? >> hey, john. sorry. he can ask another question, if tony wants to go. >> okay. >> another one, my apologies. >> jack, is that all right? >> how detailed is the ground picture of russian forces along the ukraine does at the pentagon at this point possess? is it possible the u.s.
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will know if, in fact, an invasion occurs in real-time, or is it a bolt from the blue that catches everybody by surprise, kind of like pearl harbor? >> what i will say, tony, is we're watching it very closely, and we believe we have a pretty good sight picture on what they have there and what they continue to add, both in terms of the western part of russia as well as into belarus. we're watching this closely. obviously, we're mindful of things that the russians could do that would potentially give us indications of some sort of imminent incursion. we are not there yet, but we are watching for those indicators very, very closely. go ahead, louie. >> thanks, john. following up on what you said so
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far, that no decisions have been made and that the bulk of these forces are pegged to the nato rapid response force, are they mutually exclusive? in other words, can the president decide he wants these forces now that they're on a shortened tether to head to europe for some kind of unilateral purpose without having to await nato to bring this up? >> he's the commander-in-chief. he can make whatever force decisions he believes is most prudent. what he has decided is that our commitment to nato is paramount right now, and that's why he approved secretary austin's recommendation that these additional units be put on a heightened alert. that's where we are now. i won't speculate or hypothesize about future force decisions the commander-in-chief might make,
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but he obviously has the purview to shape force posture decisions as he sees fit, given the advice and recommendations he gets from the secretary and from the chairman. okay. i'll take a couple more. go ahead. >> following up on jen's question earlier, if you're talking about reinforcing nato's owner front, do the countries on -- nato's eastern front, do the countries on russia's border, the nato countries say they are threatened by this russian positioning against ukraine so that they need the reinforcements? >> you would have to talk to each of those governments. we're in touch with them. i can tell you they are, by and large -- again, i won't speak for other countries, but by and large, they are equally as concerned about what russia is doing as we are, and as so many of their other allies are. i would stress again that even in the event that we provide additional resources
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unilaterally -- that is, outside the nato response force -- and that's a possibility even from inside europe -- it would be done in full coordination with a given ally partner nation. we wouldn't do it -- you just don't go walking into another country just for the sake of being there. it's a thing you do in coordination and consultation with them. in terms of whatever force deployments we might do, it would be at the request and with the support of a nation that did feel, for whatever reason, that they needed these extra capabilities. >> but is there any sense russian troop presence on ukraine's border threatens the nato partner? >> again, i won't speak for other countries, but i think they have spoken themselves about concerns they have about mr. putin's moves here, and we -- potentially aggressive moves here, and we want to make sure
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-- again, back to my answer to barb, one of the key criteria here is being able to make it clear that we take our article 5 commitments to nato very, very seriously. yeah, jim? >> what effect does the secretary's decision have on the 8500 servicemembers concerned? i mean, i imagine all leaves and passes will be canceled. are they packing up gear? are they anticipating having -- >> they will be notified today. some of these units are all ready, just by nature of who they are and where they are, on shortened tether. -- on a shortened tether. you know that. what the secretary decided to do in many of these cases is shorten it even more. so from, in some cases, 10 days prepare to deploy, you have to be ready in 10 days instead of 5. -- from 10 days to now 5.
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it depends on the unit, but they will have to make whatever preparations they will they need to make to be able to meet that five-day commitment. that doesn't mean that in five days from now, they're going. it just means that they need to be ready to go in as little as five days if asked for. so they will be doing all kinds of different things to help get them ready for that. and again, it would depend on the unit, whether it's maintenance on vehicles and systems, whether it's, you know, getting some things prepositioned and packaged up and ready to go, certainly there will be, for the forces involved, i'm sure personal readiness things they have to do. and that's, again, one of the reasons why i'm not giving units today, because the units are getting notified, and we want to give them time to talk about this with their families so that their families are ready for this potential, and i say "potential" deployment order that could come. but what's happening now is getting them ready on a shortened tether. now, all of the units are on
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such an advanced ptdo status. so it would take them a little bit longer to get into a heightened alert posture. that's why they're doing it now, so they have ample time to prepare. >> can you correct that no one is deploying in the next 72 hours? >> today, we're not talking about deployment orders. we have no deployment orders to speak to, barb, and i think i'm just going to leave it at that. all right. thanks, everybody. ♪ announcer: c-span is your unfiltered view of government. funded by these television companies and more, including charter communications. >> broadband is a source of empowerment. that's why charter has invested billions, building infrastructure, upgrading technology, empowering opportunity in communities big and small. charter is connecting us. announcer: charter communications supports c-span as a public service, along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. ♪
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announcer: two former u.s. diplomats discussed growing tensions between russia and ukraine and how the u.s. and its european allies may try to de-escalate the situation, from the center from the national interest, this is an hour. >> the question we have before us today is, -- we have experts in dealing with russia. we have a former u.s. ambassador at stanford university. prior to joining stanford, she served as deputy secretary-general of nato. before that is under secretary for arms control at the u.s. department of

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