WASHINGTON DC: On Tuesday, Pentagon Press Secretary Kirby briefed media on important political changes. Regarding Russia’s activities in the Arctic, he said that we’re monitoring it very closely. Nobody wants to see the Arctic as a region become militarized adding that we recognize that the region is key terrain, that’s vital to our own homeland defense and is a potential strategic corridor between the Indo-Pacific, Europe and the homeland.
He remarked that we’re committed to protecting our U.S. national security interests in the Arctic by upholding a rules-based order in the region, particularly through our network of Arctic allies and partners who share the same deep, mutual interest that we do, in exactly that order.
Responding to a question regarding Afghanistan and Taliban attacks on FOB Chapman, Kirby underlined that we still want to see negotiated settlement to the end of this war and it’s clear to us here at the Department of Defense that our colleagues at the State Department and our negotiators are taking this seriously. They continue to pre-ss for a political solution.
Kirby further added that as the president himself has indicated, it’s going to be tough to meet May 1st as a deadline for the complete withdrawal, logistically just tough to make.
The president hasn’t made a decision one way or the other about force levels in Afghanistan or missions in Afghanistan, he said.
Kirby further mentioned that as the secretary himself said when we were Kabul just a couple of weeks ago that he is confident that whatever the decision is, if that decision involves a withdrawal, that General Miller and General McKenzie will be able to do so in a safe, orderly, and effective way.
Commenting on the Taliban attacking U.S bases and decision on U.S missions he said that on follow on our future missions. I mean, they’re still conducting the mission that they’ve been assigned now, adding that we all think the violence is too high. And the secretary has said that himself.
Pentagon press Secretary also remarked that the attack on the on Forward Operating Base Chapman is of concern. Furthermore he also brifed media on the situation in Jordan and stability of the kingdom he said that as for the president’s decision-making process, I would prefer you to my colleagues at the White House to speak to that.
There’s still a review ongoing, adding that the president hasn’t made a final decision about troop posture in Afghanistan.
Kirby further mentioned that “We are still very much executing to the mission that we had been assigned and what our troops are still there executing. And if and when that changes then that we’ll adjust. I won’t get ahead of that process”. Regarding Jordan he said we’re watching the situation closely and the U.S. government has been in touch with Jordanian officials. We have a very strong military-to-military relationship with the kingdom, adding that our focus is on making sure that that relationship and our shared security interest in the region remain foremost in our minds, Pentagon Press Secretary said.
Commenting on the Russia and Ukraine crisis he said that the secretary was in touch with the minister of defense of Ukraine, and he pledged in that call, and we pledged publicly, to standing up and supporting the territorial integrity of Ukraine, and calling on Russia to respect that territorial integrity, he said.
Pentagon Press Secretary also refrained from commenting on DOD sharing intelligence with Ukraine. While commenting on U.S troop’s presence in Iraq and initiating of strategic dialogue with Iraq, he said that we routinely talk to our counterparts in Iraq, as you know, because we do have 2,500 or so troops there that are in a counter-ISIS mission in which requires a deep partnership with our Iraqi Security Force partners.
He further added on the movement of the carrier Eisenhower going to the CENTCOM area, he said that the USS Eisenhower and her associated Strike Group ships and aircraft formally enter into the Fifth Fleet, the Central Command Navy Central Command area of operations, and they’re there to support a myriad of tasking that General McKenzie might have for them there.
Regarding U.S policies towards North Korea, he said the review’s ongoing. He further added that we’re all committed to the denuclearization of North Korea and to security and stability on the Peninsula.
On Gitmo, the secretary fully supports President Biden’s desire to close the facility — to close the detention facility there. The — the — the thinking behind that, the process of reviewing, how to do that is — is one being led by the National Security Council and by the White House. And so, the secretary is — provides his views in his council, and I won’t get ahead of that process over there. But clearly, the secretary agrees that it’s long past time to close that detention facility.