Friday's seminar with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter was a critically important opportunity for U.S. military and diplomatic leaders from across Europe and the military Geographic Combatant Commands to assess the effectiveness of U.S. efforts to deter Russian aggression.
Secretary Carter led the discussion, sharing his vision and thoughts, and solicited advice on our military exercises and assistance to regional partners. He was particularly interested in hearing our feedback on how our European Allies are being impacted by Russian actions, and what additional Department of Defense training and exercises could assist.
Together, we evaluated Russia's actions over the last 18 months, specifically in Ukraine. We are confident that we have provided the Secretary with the necessary background information as he prepares for this month's meeting with NATO defense ministers to discuss the U.S. commitment to collective security through the NATO Alliance.
Ultimately, opportunities such as this summit afford us time to strengthen relationships with our peers so that we can consistently apply and capitalize on our U.S. 'whole of government' approach throughout our respective areas of responsibility.