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Maritime College ​thank you all for being here appreciated good afternoon and before my time as Secretary comes to a close I wanted to come here and brief you and do so I was always with the the chairman at this time of transition about the Department of Defense is doing to stand ready to confront the nation's security challenges anywhere in the world as we always do and must do today we had a meeting of the senior leadership council and I therefore met with the department's most senior civilian and uniformed leaders from every combat and command and every one of the armed services and from some of our partners to discuss how we're ensuring continued preparedness and vigilance in the weeks and the month ahead we also discussed how we're continuing to confront our five major unique evolving rapidly evolving challenges we face around the world general Scaparrotti to begin with discuss the steps we're continuing to take to counter the prospect of Russian aggression and coercion particularly in Europe where we're standing strong with our NATO allies and SCAP specifically updated us on the arrival in the past few days of the ships carrying the tanks and fighting vehicles of our rotational armoured brigade combat team and his plans to quickly move the entire Brigade eastward in the next few weeks plans that have we've been set in motion some months ago Admiral Harris and the Paycom team reviewed how we're continuing to manage historic change in the asia-pacific the single most consequential region for america's future even as we strengthen our deterrent and defense forces in the face of North Korea's continued nuclear and missile provocations general Votel gave an update on what we're doing to check Iranian aggression and malign influence in the Gulf and help defend our friends and allies in the Middle and of course he briefed on how we're accelerating the certain defeat of isil's can't the ISIL cancers parent to her in Iraq and Syria and their our coalition and local partners are continuing to achieve significant results in these last few days the Iraqi security forces have reached the Tigris River in Mosul and our Syrian coalition partners are converging down on rock up all the while coalition forces continue to hunt down ISIL leaders and then general Robinson discussed NORAD North comms continued cooperation with our domestic intelligence and law enforcement partners to help protect our homeland and our people many other senior leaders here today contributed to this morning's productive robust discussion the meeting was another reminder that while the that while the world doesn't rest for the transition here in Washington neither does the Department of Defense American people here at home and our friends around the world can have confidence and our adversaries should take heed that the US military is full speed ahead in the coming weeks and months the senior leadership cancels also a reminder of why I feel confident and DoD's ability to meet these challenges and that and those the future will present as well around the conference room earlier today there were some of the finest men and women America has to offer like all those Americans serving around the world right now each of our leaders is dedicated to defending this country making a better world for our children our military the finest fighting force the world has ever known has so many strengths technological material operational experience and more of an another is its leaders America's military deserves only the finest leaders and we've got them whether in the Joint Chiefs our combatant commands are in the service is each of them i know will continue to make an important and lasting contribution of the future of our military so will the marine to my left Joe Dunford I said it yesterday i'll say it again today recommending Joe Dunford to be chairman of the joint chiefs of staff was the best decision i made a secretary defense Joe even a great partner helping me lead the department our joint force and advising and supporting the President and accelerating the counter-isil campaign reforming our department to better confront trans-regional and trans functional challenges and much much more and I have every confidence you'll continue to defend our country and protect our values with excellence in years to come and of course the president the Pentagon press corps represents one of those values and also upholds one of those values that we defend free and vibrant presses essential Darmok recy in the protection of it I've known many of you for a long time and I want you to know how much I appreciate your efforts consistent efforts to tell the world about our men and women in uniform our dedicated civilians and what they're doing every day to defend our country I make a better world I respect your commitment to getting the job done gain the story right getting it to your audience as quickly as possible and even when we don't give you all the filing time you'd like I lead it if you're listening I apologies for that but I wish you good luck and Godspeed in the years ahead thanks for your hard work and your dedication with that I know the chairman has a few words and then we'll take your questions hey thanks for sick day hey first of all to Bob burns but on behalf I get the chance on behalf of the secretary and I to to wish you a happy birthday no 38 long years right and I understand that's about eighty percent of the reason why we're here this afternoon so thank you very much mr. you were kind I just we had a

farewell I think most of you know yesterday for the secretary but it was really not just for his two years the secretary yes this caps really almost four decades of service to the department and just about every capacity and miss secretary is our last public appearance together so I want to thank the on behalf of the force for your leadership first and foremost I mean as many things we could talk about the ISIL campaign putting the department on a path to capability development that will make us maintain a competitive advantage in the future how hard you work to maintain deep partnerships improve our alliances around the world but at the end of the day it's been the compassion and the care that you've had for a men and women in uniform and in fact you've been all about winning that I think we'll remember most so I just wanted you know last time together just say thanks very much for your leadership Surya partnership and forgive me an opportunity to to make a difference with you Joe and with that I think will be prepared to take questions birthday boy yeah first question secretary a question for both of you about one of the topics you prefer to I think is the big 5 problems in confesses North Korea if and when North Korea does long test launched an ICBM would the US or should the u.s. attempt to shoot it down not because it poses a physical threat necessarily but in order to deny North Korea the technical advancement it needs to move toward its ultimate goal of being able to hold the US territory at risk um if the missile is threatening it will be intercepted if it's not threatening and we won't necessarily do so and because it may be more to our advantage to first of all save our interceptor inventory and second to gather intelligence from the flight rather than do that when it's not threatening and joking no love this that's where we as one okay Barbara general Dunford I'm going to start with you and then mr. secretary Sir you once testified before Congress that you saw Russia as a in your words as a possible existential threat and then their behavior was alarming in your words so I want to ask you today what alarms you is determined about Russian behavior what applies to both if you have for the American people about whether they should trust radomir Putin those two questions and that I would like to follow up by also asking you what you both think the chances are of capturing or killing Abu Bakr al-baghdadi before the Obama administration leaves office okay I like when you start up okay well first of all let me start by doing Russia and then Baghdad with respect to Russia I've been very clear we have our serious differences with Russia it's not a question of alarm it's a matter of strategic judgment we've had a serious concerns about their activities in Ukraine Isaacs said clearly I think their activities in Syria have been backwards and counterproductive and at the same time we've worked productively with Russia in with respect to North Korea and with respect to Iran and therefore our approach to Russia is one that is both strong and balanced strong in the sense that we're making investments specifically with an eye to being able to continue to check and deter Russia and also making investments in our alliance in NATO so that they can stand strong against against Russian and aggression balance literally just finished and I'll get to a balanced in the sense that we should we with Russia and everybody else continue to look for opportunities where we can make our interests align they have not been abundant in recent years but I remember a time barber and I've worked quite closely with Russia but I've done it at a time when it would serve us interests because I could make our interests and Russia's interests align with respect to and so here as in strategy and foreign policy generally it's not a matter of trust it's a matter of us interests and the pursuit of us interests with respect to back daddy I'll only say this I think if I were bag daddy or any other ISIL leader I would be quite concerned about my safety mr. chairman if I could just ask you again following on your previous remarks to Congress what alarms you today about Barbara is I think you can appreciate from military perspective I focus more on the capabilities than I do their intent not trying to project her intent and so when I made that statement I looked at the modernization of the nuclear enterprise and there's public statements about the use of nuclear weapons I looked at their cyber activities and their development of cyber capabilities I looked at what they were doing for space in anti space their maritime capability and then you know what I also looked at was what I described as adversarial competition that has a military to mention short of conflict that's where they've used political influence economic origin unconventional operations military posture to actually undermine our alliance structure in our partnerships in Europe so that's that probably damai is one of the big concerns the secretary mentioned Ukraine we saw similar activity in Georgia we saw similar activity in the Crimea we see similar activity in the Baltic States I see you hi Missy Ryan from the Washington Post I have two questions I'm one for you secretary Carter lawmakers including Senator McCain have called the Russian hacking activity and act of war suggesting that it requires a more aggressive response do you agree with that assessment and do you think that the US response to the hacking activity has been inadequate and general Dunford I'd like to ask you about the civilian casualties issue in Iraq and Syria and the new administration has suggested that it might intensify the bombing campaign and I know you don't want to comment on future policy but given that military officials have said that after the acceleration of the air campaign last year that they were hitting everything they could that wouldn't in cursive billion casualties is your judgment that can the air campaign be intensified without killing more civilians well with respect to the Russian hacking issue I don't have anything to add to what the

FBI and the intelligence community have said in the report they obviously did a meticulous job of analyzing the data they reported their conclusions quite clearly I think they just as clearly call for a response and hear that response can be across a broad range it doesn't have to be a similar response that is a cyber response responses have been made I think you should regard that as a start and not the end or as I've said before a floor and not a ceiling you don't want to comment on whether it's an act of war or not well I think whatever you call it it's an aggressive act Missy I'm having a hard time answering a question directly because to me the pace of our bombing is driven by the pace of operations of our partners on the ground so we're providing air support that's consistent with the progress of the Iraqi security forces in the case of rack I think last year about this time you can remember we had a conversation about why is in the Opera isn't the air campaign have high tempo and we said the Iraqi security forces aren't conducting operations at a high tempo and that's going to drive greater air support that's what happened in Ramadi about this time last year that's what's happening right now in Mosul and the surrounds and the same thing is true in Syria they opt the tempo of our air campaign in Syria is directly linked to the pace of our operations and syrian democratic forces that we're supporting so the issue of civilian casualties I mean someone puts that in there as though that's the driver of the air campaign I guess what I tell you is no that's not been the driver of our campaign the driver the air campaign has been our ground partners and it will remain so you could intensify you could potentially accelerate the air campaign will accelerate as the operations were partners occurring dope um secretary your counterpart in Russia defense minister Choi who came out with some remarks today saying the United States had not only achieved a zero result in Syria the key said the words were his words work its had a negative result in Syria I'm just wondering looking ahead to another administration which wants to partner with with Russia potentially in Syria how do you how do you see that relationship but what are the what are the possibilities for improvement and enter to the Chairman if it possible you are Congress last year about the dangers of sharing intelligence with Russia how was your thinking evolved in these many months especially as US and Russia forces have come into greater proximity just to do the evolution of the campaign sure well I'm realistic about our concerns about Russian behavior not just in Syria but I've also spoken about Europe as well I've also said that it's it stands to reason and long been American practice with respect to Russia and other countries that we would cooperate and align ourselves with other countries when and if their conduct and their interests made that in our national interest there haven't been a lot of opportunities in the last number of years I can I told you I remember a time and it was different and of course we all like to see a timer return but that would require behavior on the Russian part that was more congruent with our interest you certainly haven't seen that in Syria I said that you certainly haven't seen that in Europe feel actually a very similar answer last year when I when I spoke about Intel sharing it was based on my assessment of a misalignment of our objectives in our priorities in Syria and so unless on that unless that would change then I wouldn't see a change in my recommendation in terms of Intel sherry okay hunts yeah um will we can we expect any more pontano transfers in the next nine days now and then a second part you both of speaking about the role in Turkey and Russia did the detergent that mr. sector you spoke about this a lot on that trip on the importance of constant communication with your Turkish counterparts did the Turks inform you that they would be working with the Russians on the web with respect to the second null at the chairman University at Buffalo.