tv Atlantic Council Forum Examines Impact of ZAPAD 17 Military Exercises on... CSPAN July 14, 2017 12:04pm-1:48pm EDT
c-span.org. >> earlier this week, military and government leaders from estonia, norway and the u.s. discussed the russian-led military exer sicise in and aro the baltic sea. the program was hosted by the atlantic council. it's an hour and 40 minutes. >> good morning. welcome to this event. implications for nato and the united states. i know it's already getting muggy out there so we're happy to share our ac with you in
here. i'm magnus. i'm the director of the initiative here at the atlantic council. it's great to see such a big crowd in july for this event. i also want to add a special welcome to our guests who have travelled far to be here today. michael mickleson who's the chairman. and christian, who is the under secretary for defense policy at estonia's ministry of defense. as some of you may know, christian served previously here at the embassy in washington so it's great to see him back in town. so i'm just going to say a few words before we let our experts and representatives loss. this is important and why we're doing this here at the atlantic council. so this is clearly a summer of -- or a big summer of exercises in europe. two major nato exercises just wrapped up in northern europe.
and nato also just completed a big exercise off the coast of ice lan. in the very near future, the focus will shift to the black sea region where nato will conduct a number of exercises as well. this is obviously all in response to a russia that continues to be assertive in and around europe and elsewhere. and it's clearly bent on altering the european secretary order in its including with military power. special interest to the broader atlantic security committee. it can tell us quite a bit about russia's intentions and its growing capabilities. previous iterations of this exercise have given us clues to russia's ability to, for example, rapidly mobilizing and moving across distances and integrating ground, air and sea power. have also given us a window into russia thinking. including the use of ballistic missiles and even nuclear weapons. so this exercise is important not only for us here in washington but also in nato and
brussels. and for other allied capitals for us all to keep an eye on. obviously this session is an important opportunity to provide a bit of a public preview. of what could be expected in the coming months. as the exercise draws closer. and what the long-term implications are for the u.s., nato and all its members in terms of the terms, in terms of defense, in terms of reinforcements for the european continent moving forward. so this panel discussion today really forms part of the council's long-standing work on defense and deterrence. and we have focused on a number of key issues including nato's enhanced forward presence. nato's maritime domain. cyber and other threats. and nato/eu cooperation to meet some challenges. the rubric of northern europe, we have conducted a range of activities including war games. we've led fact-finding delegations to the regions. and published results and policy
recommendations. actually just six weeks ago, we hosted a high-profile public conference on defense and deterrence in northern europe which featured all of the defense ministers z s and retir voices. so this panel discussion is really the start of our work. and we will return to this theme with analysis of outcomes of exercise and we will also watch it closely using our capabilities and our digital forensic research lap which has previously tracked security developments in ukraine, syria and the events surrounding the shootout using digital tools to uncover important facts from the ground that are sometimes easy to miss for a policy audience. and some of the work related can be picked up in the hall just outside this room. but of course none of this work that we're doing would have been possible without our close partnership with estonia's military defense.
christian, thank you to you and the ministry for working so closely with us and making this work possible and bringing some of these perspectives to washington for disugs k. we have a great panel lined up for today. with perspectives from estonia and norway and the united states. so i'm sure you will find this conversation both fascinating and lively. and we also look forward to bringing all of you into the conversation during the q and a signatu discussion. so to help us open today's discussion, we have the chairman of the foreign relations committee of the parliament of estonia. he also heads estonia's dell to the nato parliamentary assembly. having first been elected to parliament in 2003. he also brings a distinguished expert as an expert on regional affairs. he has served as the director of
the baltic center for studies and is the editor in chief of the largest newspapers in the baltic region. he everybody issed fserved for crucial time of political developments in russia. one of the leading voices about influence of transatlantic unity, cohesion within nato. thank you for being with us today. and the floor is yours. [ applause ] >> thank you, magnus. thank you, you and your team here in atlantic council putting together this extremely interesting seminar today, this morning. it is of course very timely as we see from audience. also generates a lot of perhaps both interest and questions. but allow me to be in my few
remarks as historian. going a little bit back from the day we're living in today. to understand in my understanding and our understanding in estonia the current situation. both in relation between western russia and also regarding the exercises. we have to see the bigger picture. and it is of course only part of it. to be pretty clear, russia is the only country today in the world who has national strategy and this is already for a long time to confront nato as an enemy. and perhaps even destroy nato and the united states at least in terms of current security architecture in your atlantic area built by the leadership of the united states. russia is the only country who constantly exercising and
strategically building up its military muscle memory for total war against the west. all recent exercises at least since zapa 2009 had elements of anti-west warfare. of course, this suits perfectly to their own historical roots. alexen de iii said the only real allies for russia are the navy and the army. perhaps today you could add their nukes as well. or cyber fare. and of course this all makes sense in the consolidation of society. don't forget also that russia still is today in modern war against major european country, ukraine. zapa perhaps gives the best example. that russia has not changed since break-up of soviet union. don't forget the first time
russia had, or soviet union had the zapat exercises in 1973. zapat '81 bawas the biggest eve. that was show of force against nato and somehow against poland which had internal crisis at the time. but what is different from times of zapat '8 is or zapat '84? the only element i see changed since then is the location of front line. instead, denmark and danish straights, we ha straits, we have now poland. going back into '80s. i found very interesting paper written by the now rear admiral of u.s. navy. in 1983, he was student at the monterey naval school researching the security aspects
of the baltic sea. that time, he addressed, since the end of world war ii, ussr. he's created a situation there, avoiding nuclear war. the soviet union could win strategic victory by suddenly attacking the danish straits. what is most striking actually is the fact that the recommendation gave to the security environment in the baltic region 34 years ago feel also as if it were written yesterday. he concluded, and i quote him here. in a baltic, there is commanding cation for looking a new at prepositioning including both men and equipment. with the current level of technology, modern warfare proceeds very quickly and allows little time for mobilization. the expeditionary philosophy of
reinforcement from afar no longer has a degree of military or political utility that it possessed a few years ago. the alliance must rid itself of the idea that any defensive or preparatory response to soviet expansion is in itself perceived as provocation by the crekremli. allied defenses can constitute aggression. this was written in 1983. hardly anything has changed. only really the geographical proximity we talk about. i would like to conclude with very strong information from the side of estonia that we have seen strong response from nato since russian aggression -- both actually in 2008 against georgia
and specifically from 2014 against ukraine. this has been relatively moderate but firm. unity which has played out to loss or even summits of nato has given quite a strong and clear signal. but nato is to work for its core goal, defend its allies by article 5. building up deterrence. which is important of course. then we see these exercise on our borders. eaststonia in our political debates, we're very firmly
believing into our own necessity. i tell you there is no political force in estonia who argues against this. in terms of perhaps even increasing the defense budget if it's really needed. another area where estonia has built a lot of attention recently is early warning procedures. including also investing into our intelligence. which allows politicians like me to be very well briefed constantly. and that makes of course the quality of political decisions much higher than otherwise.
i hope to hear very interesting debate today, thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you. my assignment today is to provide additional context for understanding of what we may be seeing this september in 2017. in that sense, following along very much, in the messages that you heard from marco, and what you'll be hearing from me is why these things don't exist in a vacuum. that to understand them and interpret them, there are a lot of other considerationings that we need to pay attention to. including history. what i thought i would do then is start with a few words about what we know about the exercise itself and then look at some of
the immediate precursors to it and what those precursors -- some of the earlier may suggest about what we will see now and then say a few words at the end about some of the issues it may raise for the rest of us, what we should be paying attention to. what i'm sure many in the audience know zapat is a strategic sgroint exercise. it is planned this time to take place in western russia, belarus. it will be a multinational exercise including both belarus forces. air defense, logistic support and probably interior ministry and other troops as well. at least in some form. it is likely, i think, and for reasons i'll explain in more
detail in a moment, to coincide or overlap with some other exercises and training drills which may not be formally identified as part of zapat, but look clearly linked to them. we've seen this before. i'll come back to this. its overall size is uncertain on detail but all indications are this is going to be very, very large. and may, indeed, be the largest one we've seen since the end of the cold war. it has, not surprisingly, evoked a lot of attention and some considerable concern among russia's neighbors. and at nato in general. now, why, why should we care about this? why should we pay attention? after all, all military exercise their troops. they do it regularly. why is this different? seems to me there are two basic
reasons. which are interrelated. one has to do with what exercises in general can tell us about the thinking of military planners and political leaders. what is it they worry about? what kinds of conflicts do they think should be planned for? what kinds of messages they want to convey to adversaries and more. and secondly, what exercises can suggest or remind us about broader trends in the security environment. in general in russian defense planning in particular. as i mentioned before, these exercises don't take place in a vacuum. the context matters. so what i'm going to do then to follow up is simply to say a few words about what we've seen in recent exercise history, say something about the issues this may raise for the president and then return and try to
suggest what it is we should pay particular attention to especially in the broader trends we see in russian defense planning and in the broader european security environment. so first a bit of exercise history. as marco said, the soviet union and then russia has been doing zapat or west exercises for a long time. they are regularly planned and announced at four-year intervals. the two most recent ones took place in 2009 and 2013. the 2013 exercise has some aspects which are very much worth noting as we look ahead to this september. first of all there's a question of what its purpose was. it was characterized by some russian official statements as essentially an anti-terrorist exercise.
when you look at what happened it is pretty hard to believe that that's really all that this was about. clearly it was exercising and testing mobilization and deployment including some newly formed units of command and control arrangements and the like. i think we'll see a lot more of it this time. a second characteristic has to do with its size. in 2013, russia was still following the vienna document conventions of reporting upcoming exercises. they are not doing that anymore. the vienna document. their declaration was zapat 2013 was going to be on the order of 20,000, 22,000 troops. now, there were several problems with this exercise. one is it looked like -- it appears the only thing they
were actually announcing were the ground forces that were involved. and, in fact, there were a lot of other troops that were involves. either -- what looked like either directly or in other activities, it seemed to be closely linked. air force, logistic forces, railroad troops, interior ministry and the like. those numbers were considerable. when you add those forces to the 22,000 you get about 70,000 in total. in addition, there was a very large interior ministry exercise at the same time involving roughly 25,000 troops. if you include that, then the total comes close to 100,000. so the yb of what w-- you know,s going on, however we characterize it, however much we decide there are
a lot of closely linked activities of considerable size much larger than russia officialally announced. now, again, there's sort of an obvious point for zapat 2017. it, too, i think will be very large. it will be part of an ongoing and very comprehensive exercise and training cycle which we've seen already. we've seen elements of it this summer with more apparently coming soon. how large exactly is not clear. there's not going to be a ose notification this time. but there are reports, one indication, that russia's going to be mobilizing several thousand trains to transport the troops, several thousand. if this is true, this is several orders of magnitude larger than anything we've seen before. it is much larger, for example, than what we saw in 2013.
as i say, what we could be seeing in september is the largest, most complicated, most ambitious exercise since the cold war. now, what, therefore, should we be looking for and upcoming history, given this history, given in particular the broader trends in russian defense planning. marco referreded to a lot of it. i think people here know it well. i won't go into it in detail. but what -- there's been quite a bit of hype about what russian military forces look like. there are still constraints on them in the future. both economic and demographic. having said all that, what is clear is what the general trends are. that this is a force which is much more mobile, has more competent units which can move faster and quicker than what
we've seen before, and in ways under quite plausible scenarios that can produce force ratios at least in the -- along the borders in the regions that are quite unfavorable to nato. this is not a question of what russian forces look like against nato in general. but scenarios that could cause nato a lot of trouble in the immediate region. now, there have been a lot of -- as i mentioned before, a lot of western concerns both in the region from nato officials and here in washington. we will hear more about those from the panel so i won't go into great detale. let me mention a couple. the most dramatic but not frequent is that it may be some kind of direct military action. i understand the reasons for this. it has happened before. there was some -- there was an exercise in 2007.
which followed very quickly by interventions in the borders. the same thing happened with the georgia war in 2008. looks like a link. having said that, i think direct military action, personally, i think is very unlikely. i don't think russia is looking to start a war with nato. i do worry about other things. one, which i think is less than plausible, is incidents along the border. provocations poking around the region. as a result possibility of accidents. you know, we are going to need -- and we will need to be careful about this. i hope they are too. even if there's something dramatic like that, i can't rule out the possibility of some trouble associated with this. but even if none of that happens what then should we care about? i would mention a couple of things that we should pay
particular attention to. one is simply the size and what this tells us about russian planning and defense planning and perspectives. another is the scenario. there will be one thing which we describe to us. my guess is it will be deployment issues and particular command and control because there have been structural changes in the military districts in russia and in some of the units, what forces are involved, what roles they seem to play, to what extent they look like they reflect changes in the force structure for some period russia was moving away to
smaller more mobile brigades. and they professed rationale was that they were more concerned about smaller local wars around their borders. they've started to move back a bit. creating new larger forces of division size. we want to see how they're used. and, in particular, as i say, implications for force generation. we'll also need to think about, you know, how good our own intelligence is. we'll need to be thinking hard about this. we're going to be looking at this. and western intelligence will be looking at the preparations. one of the things we'll need to assess afterwards is how much did we see. how much was received in advance. it would have implications for
warning questions and how much warning can we expect to have if something were to go wrong. a final element, which i should at least note, possible is a nuclear element. previous ones have had some nuclear element in them. often they seem quite de, voed from the sen fair e yous of the conventional forces. in part because we've been hearing a lot of rhetoric from russian officials about the integration of nuclear forces and conventional forces. a lot of talk about the so-called idea of escalation, to deescalate. we're going to have to pay attention to that too. then, finally, one final point. in addition to the operational purposes of exercises, which are at the core exercises also send messages. often by design.
and many cases, russia has been quite clear and quite explicit about some messages. so one big question for us to think about afterwards is what are the political messages that these are intended to convey. do they simply want to warn us, that they are tough and leave them alone? in other words, the political message is potentially defense, as they claim? do they want to make us nervous and therefore accommodate in ways consistent with some of their other objectives in the region? do they want to make us numb? that is, keep doing this, without following up with anything. so at some point we'll start paying less attention and less concern about the exercises we see very close to nato borders. these are not mutually executive. sorting them out is not going to be a simple matter, but it is something to pay attention to and think about.
one final point, again, these issues, what it is we can expect from russia, what they worry about, what the forces may look like, is not going to end with zapat 2017 either. there's going to be one other, in addition to further exercises and force developments, there's going to be one other thing that's going to happen at the same time. which is the announcement of the next state armaments program. that's supposed to be determined and announced also in september. and that, too, is going to tell us something about their own priorities and what we can expect in the next ten years. so let's leave at it that. and turn it over to the panel. [ applause ]
>> good morning everyone. thank you to both robert and marmar k marco for that wonderful introduction. i wanted to say there's no shortage of russia talk in this town. i think this is going to be an important and interesting conversation to have. their full bios are in the program so i won't bore you through those and run you through their distinguished backgrounds. we're lucky to have him in his first public appearance in this role. then we have to his left we have major general fin christian of norway, who has, in addition to serving as the current defense ato the embassy here, served in various positions of the air force across nato and norway. and then finally to my full
left, we have evelyn farkus who is currently a nonresident senior fellow here, formerly served as the deputy assistant for deputy of defense for russia. i'll go ahead and give the panelists about five minutes to run across introductions and we'll open it up to the floor. >> okay. thank you. i'd like to first thank the organizers for such a timely event and also for the people in the audience for your interest in this subject. the turnout is really a very positive surprise to me. so i'm humbled by being here today on the second day on this job, first day i spent traveling. so the second day here. i think it's a really great way
to start. anyway, marco, and made an excellent introduction. with a question of what i've left to say. but i still try to frame it from my side, representing the minister of defense, and briefly stop on the issue why we think zapat is important, we should pay attention to it. secondly, what kind of attention is needed after all. and thirdly, what should be our sort of posture or our attitude towards this exercise. later of course i would be happy to answer any questions. you may have. so why is zapat important at all? just as it's been mentioned before already, this is the most
important exercise. the military political strategic exercise that russia has this year. and what's very important to note here is the first zapat since the cite rimea annexizati the first zapat since the war in ukraine broke out. so from that point of view, it's important both politically and as well as militarily. the exercise takes place in extreme proximity to allied territory. in fact, the exercise activities we expect to almost surround parts of allied territory and we're going to see unprecedented force strength, jointness and
interagency activity on behalf of the russians. sort of referring to. we expect the size of the exercise to be around 100,000. it may go up from that. but what's very important to note here is that just as we also alluded to, in addition to the zapat itself, we actually see a whole set of exercises that are directed towards the west and, in fact, zapat in western means "the west." so from spring to late fall we will see a lot of activity. thirdly, we've witnessed before
that russians intend to fight and thus zapat will give us ample information on their military development and on their sort of political thinking as it is right now. and last but not least, on that bullet, joint exercise, their readiness will be at all times high and their existing advantage in sort of time and space will be even further by that. we don't consider this to be a direct threat to us. we don't expect it to be a cover for an attack or something. we have to keep in mind it's for
russians have the sort of nasty habit of hiding the actual military endeavors behind exercises. they have done it before. and we have to take this into count in our own think. secondly, what kind of attention is needed. that's for sure for the military and political experts. this is golden opportunity to get the kind of information they want to sort of test out it their assumptions or see some new things. this is for sure. but we shouldn't keep the zapat just a matter for the expert community. but for the think tanks, so on,
so forth. but it definitely has to get the deserved attention from the higher political military echelons. after all, considering the setup of the exercise, the scenarios that we might, may see being played out. and the overall russian strategic thinking, it's not about just abstract readiness, but the exercise is certainly about the sort of testing, community testing the russian ability to pursue its own goals. and all about also our ability to keep our deterrence posture
credib credible. thirdly, what should be our sort of reaction. i'd like to stress three words here. we've got to be calm, we've got to be vigilant and we have to be flexible. and we do have to do it individually. from estonia, we certainly intend this to be the case. but we also have to do it in a coordinate way as an alliance and as countries in the region. particularly, considering the bad habit of bad things happening in august. august/september time frame. people mentioned during our premeeting disugs comes. particularly things go sour.
that it that's the thing we have to keep in mind. and in a way, in a sense, we have to continue adjusting the alliances, deterrence posture, the, on the eastern flank to reflect the existing complexity. and jointness of the challenge that we currently face. and face -- we face in the foreseeable future. so these are my sort of first remarks. and i'd be happy to hand it over. >> thanks. we'll just pass it down. general. >> okay, thank you very much. thank you for inviting norway to this event as well. since i'm representing norway, i'll try to put on my norwegian lenses. and to understand the strategic messaging. i think one would have to understand what is happening
north of norway on a daily basis as well before going into the exercise as well as use a few minutes to send some brief remarks about what the situation is north of norway. what we have seen the last couple of years is an increased activity when it comes to c sea power. it is increasing and a part of the russian doctrine is so go farther west. together with this we know that we have also seen a russian modernization when it comes to submarines that are more silent before. we have also seen weapons on board these submarines that have longer range than before.
this combination makes it so much more important to have a situational awareness. that's why it's important to have other allies to do this. when it comes to the air forces we have actually seen a reduced activity from the russian side in the north. a few years ago we saw a different type of formations. it has been reduced lately. we have not seen much of the aggressiveness that has been seen in the baltic sea. there is a difference between the russian behavior in the baltics as north of norway. because of the sanctions and what have you, the interactions between norwegian military and the russian military has been
reduced almost nothing but on a daily basis, we are still cooperating slightly on the border guard between russia and norway. we are cooperating on the search and rescue europeans and also on the incident at sea. be aware we also have still a hot line between the joint operations headquarters in northern norway. between that headquarters and the northern fleets headquarters. that's a hot line that we do test every week. lately it has not been used much. it is there for commanders to speak to commanders in case we have something coming up and we need to get any misunderstandings out of the way. so when it comes to the exercise itself, we are really interested in seeing how
exercises in the north. we know that late summer/early fall is an active time where there are a number of exercises. so how these are linked to the zapat is going to be interesting. we also know during fall we see -- maybe at this time already, we see an annual deployment from the russian navy going to the eastern -- going further east and the northeast passage. we understand that most of the exercise activity is going to be on the western border of russia and probably facing towards estonia and latvia and of course down to belarus.
and that's also very interesting. for norway, we still have company as a part of this in lithuania. from the norwegian perspective, we would like more transparency of course as we all would like. so if russia could, you know, inform the nato through the nato/russian council or, again, start using the vienna document channel to inform about the exercise, that would be something that would be very welcoming from our point of view. thank you. >> thank you so much, general. now we'll move to evelyn farkus. dive right in. >> thank you. thank you, again, to the atlantic council, to the estonian government, to the co-participants. caroline asked me to speak to
someone in the u.s. government in 2013 when the last zapat occurred. sitting in the pentagon at the time we watched a new defense minister come into office. who is still there and has only increased his power and stature within the russian government and in russian society at large. he was already a known figure to russians because of his about 20-year lead of the internal russian sort of equivalent of fema, if you will. and so he -- when he came into office, one of the biggest and most immediate changes we saw was an uptick in the russian exercise regiment. this is not just oriented towards the very predictable zapat cycle which is one of the piece, because there were other regional -- since that's called west, as you would imagine, there were other regional exercises owe ur coming. with also the organization that shogu had put into place. that had been put into place
prior to shorgu but which he had a lot of force behind subs qebtly. in addition to those normally scheduled exercises which days, also initiated what he called snap exercises, and they were basically inspections, but exercises aimed to demonstrate to the russian civilian leadership as well as to the military leadership the state of readiness of the russian forces. and we watched in 2013, they had four snap exercises, and then over time they've gone up significantly, so they doubled, and in the consequent year, 2014 there were eight snap exercises, then 20 in 2015, and then they went down again to 11 in 2016, which i suspect is linked to the fact that operationally, of course, the russians since 2015, especially their incursion into syria, meant that they didn't have to do these regular snap exercises to test their readiness. indeed, they're at a pretty high state of readiness because of
ukraine and syria, but i think it's important just to put that context in place for all of you to see that all of a sudden we saw this new minister of defense in the pentagon, we saw these new, smaller inspection exercises, and then within that context, we saw zapad. and as we already heard from bob, there were about 70,000 unofficially to maybe 100,000 troops resolved in zapad. and we had to contrast that with the fact that in that same year, the largest nato exercise that took place at the time had about 6,000 forces, and it was called "steadfast jazz," which is not a very strong and determined name, but at the time, of course, we didn't understand that russia regarded nato really as an adversa adversary, that this was a serious matter, although of course, within the department of defense, within the military intelligence community, we were looking very closely at zapad and all of these snap exercises and becoming increasingly alarmed, because the first thing you learn when you're in the defense business is, you know,
the threat is a combination of intent and capability. we were seeing capability changing and increasing in terms of its quality and quantity and the intent was a big question mark for those of us, again, sitting in the pentagon. in our political leadership at time, not just in the united states, but in the transatlantic community, the intent was we still regarded it as not necessarily a threat. there was a lot of discussion about that. of course, with the invasion of ukraine, annexation of crimea, the ongoing situations, the situation was clarified, although there are those that, of course, still tried to muddy the overall strategic landscape and how we should perceive it, but i wanted to set that out there so people understand, the reason we're talking about 2013 and not much before that is because there was a change with putin coming back into power, with this new minister of defense. and so, i think that's an important point to note.
now, going back to my notes here, again, this idea that they were exercising against terrorists. you can expect the russians to obfuscate again in 2017 to try not to demonstrate that their opponent is nato because there's still this debate about the extent to which russia is our adversary. but i think the other thing i would just add is that the real degradation that's occurred since 2013 that bob mentioned and others have talked about in transparency, and this is where it's most alarming, and i think the reason there's so much tension now with 2017 is that the russians clearly are in violation of the vienna documents. they're barely trying anymore to declare what they're doing. and those vienna documents, for those who aren't familiar with them, it's basically transparency measures in order to try to decrease the risk of
miscalculation, decrease tensions when militaries in europe are conducting normal exercises for readiness. of course, it's a bit untenable when russia is, in fact, the adversary, like it or not. we didn't want to be in an adversarial situation with russia, but we are. and so, the fact that they are now ignoring these transparency measures which were put into place with the idea that we wouldn't really be targeting one another, or we would try not to, has created a real problem, and i guess i would just say so that i don't talk too long and we can open it up for discussion, there are a couple of things i would like us to watch coming out of this. obviously, some of the things that bob talked about before, the number of troops, where the troops go, the disposition of the troops. there is some concern about whether russian troops will remain in belarus after the exercise is over, and i think that concern is probably shared by the belarusian government, so i would say we should watch very closely what's being said in belarus itself and what's being
said by officials in belarus, because they already in 2014, even before that, were trying to, you know, they've always tried to do what the previous ukrainian government derian kovich did, have a way to communicate with the west and sort of hedge against the kremlin being overly dominant, but i think they've become increasingly concerned over time, certainly even in the last year or so. and so, we need to watch very closely what happens in belarus. i would say we need to watch very closely how they exercise, whether we see any signs of nuclear, other wmd -- chemical, biological -- the cyber component is very important. and then coming out of the exercise, i would like a couple of concrete things. i mean, there are many things we can talk about what we would like to see, but i would like to see, first of all, obviously, continuation of our strong deterrent posture. i would like to see it less rotational and more permanent. that may be unrealistic in the
near term, but certainly, we need to make sure that we are exercising, that nato is exercising, that nato is ready, that we show resolve, and on the conventional front. on the cyber front, i think it's very important for us to think about cyber ops and whether nato can build not just an early warning -- and i know nato is working on intelligence, early warning, and we have, of course, the cyber center in estonia, but i think we need an operational capability. it's time for nato to really take much more seriously this cyber threat, because the reality is we already saw that the nato strategic concept identified cybersecurity as something that requires an article four consultation, but i would argue that given how -- given the potential ramifications, the potential impact of a cyber operation, you could get very quickly to article five, and nato can't be sitting there wringing its hands within the military committee, certainly. and then i think we need to
think about a couple of things that are less tactical, if you will, or less operational. we need to -- i mentioned earlier the transparency. i think the best thing we could do on the transparency front is actually to broaden the discussion and bring it out of the transatlantic and osce context and talk to the chinese, talk to the indians, because what the russians are doing has implications for them as well. and i think about the inf treaty and -- excuse my phone. i think that was all the twitter feed getting it excited. the inf treaty -- unless it was a cyber on. the inf treaty -- you know, we have been kind of silent now, our government and nato itself and the europeans in particular about the russian ongoing violation of the inf treaty, and it may be because smarter minds are thinking, well, this has implications for the chinese because what the russians have done can be -- it's a mobile capability -- it can be directed towards others.
and so, why don't we bring in the chinese, the indians, other countries that have a stake in increased transparency, lowering the risk of actual military kinetic contact, and again, increasing confidence, or building confidence. and then i would say again that that's probably the most important thing we could do at the higher level. and then i would agree completely with the undersecretary, we need to be calm, vigilant and flexible. >> great. well, thank you all for your opening remarks. i think we set up a really broad and varied understanding of this, but one subject we all touched on i think was obviously the transparency aspect or the lack thereof. so, i think that is one of the things that i'd like to hear particularly from you, undersecretary, about how the lack of it is impacting preparations and the calculations that the baltics
and your country are making, then broader it out how it's affecting the broader strategic, the nato alliance's preparations and the west's preparations for this activity. starting with you, though, if you'd like. >> okay. thanks, caroline. the transparency is something that we've seen, constant back-sliding in transparency for the past ten years, since putin's famous, or infamous, speech, the transparency has been our constant victim. with regards to this year's exercise, it's interesting, and i would put this into this broader context of tricky relationship between bell russia and russia, for example. it's interesting to see how there are some differences in the approach to transparency
from those two countries. the exercise is supposed to be an exercise that these two countries run together, but the belarusians have seen more utility in the transparency and have been more forthcoming in actually fulfilling some of the arms control arrangements. and this may also reflect their own concerns over the possible russian agenda. as far as the future is concerned, i think the instinct of estonians is to see whether
the existing regiments can be used before getting to something new, whereas different countries may have different interests and different concerns as far as the arms control and transparency's concerned, even outside europe, to get to some overarching agreement with countries as far as india, china, will certainly not be an easy thing. and as long as we do have the current existing regimes, we should do our utmost to press on fulfilling the criteria that are stated on our behalf or nato's behalf.
we are more than willing to and intend to follow the different procedures that are in vienna document. for example, in order to make sure that our exercises are and stay transparent so that also the russians and other interested parties can get the sense of what's happening there. i'll stop with that. >> yeah. >> yeah, sure. i think the transparency issue from the military side is basically one thing. and that's not to create misunderstandings. misunderstandings is a prerequisite for increased tension and increased tension, you'll create, you know, episodes, and you'll get
incidents and things like that. so, that's why this transparency thing is so important. and you can talk to that on the tactical side as well as on the strategic side. >> what role do we think the deliberate disinformation and the deliberate obfuscation is playing, then? is it an intentional heightening of tensions? is it -- what is the intent behind the lack of transparency? >> i mean, if i could just from the political perspective. i mean, first of all, we should remember, there is -- obviously, this is a military exercise, but there is also a political component of this. first of all, obviously, directed towards nato, a message towards nato. we're ready, you know, don't try anything, and very strong, very strong message. there is also a message to the russian domestic population that nato is the adversary, the west is the adversary. we're ready, we're a great nation, so that the patriotic element is there as well.
the obfuscation is important because, again, as i mentioned, we still have a lot of questions about russia's significance, whether russia is indeed in an adversarial posture with us, whether russia is a declining power, and so, therefore, this doesn't matter. these questions are still out there being discussed, unfortunately, in the political climate -- always like this kind of ambiguity, anyway, with a big wink, you know, because they want us to know that they're capable and they're powerful and look at their cyber intrusion in the u.s. elections, but they don't really want to take full accountability because they want those for whom it's convenient to align with them, or at least not oppose them, to be able to do so. >> building off that, kind of the level of concerns in
relation to russia and this exercise, you've said that you don't view it as a direct threat, but there is also -- that's kind of always an underlying concern in the back of people's minds. i was talking with the lithuanian defense minister last month, and he mentioned that there has been some media and some rhetoric surrounding two provinces in the west in lithuania, talking on various russian sites about how they were gifted to lithuania by stalin long ago. we've seen this kind of rhetoric before. so, if the direct military intervention is not the primary concern, it's still in the back of our minds, what are some of the other concerns beyond the accidental intrusions? are we concerned -- how likely do we think an intrusion or an engagement that doesn't quite rise to the level of an article five violation is?
that's for the whole broad panel, yeah. >> yeah, if i may start with that. firstly, the example that you pointed out, the lithuania example is exactly the reason why we strongly feel that paying attention to it is not only something the military analysts or thinkers should do, because one way or another, we expect to see -- we expect to see zapad being in the news, partly also as a deliberate attempt by the russians. considering the examples of previous exercises, it's, i
guess a fair bit to say that there will be full range of tools in their sort of national possession being used, from information to cyber to nuclear, et cetera, meaning that we should not be passive in this sort of communication game, too. now, what to be afraid of, brought out the exact elements that i personally would be concerned about, is the incidents of accidental nature but with serious consequences, as well as some possible provocations. and this is where it's fair to
say that whoever attends those exercises should show sort of professional -- professionalist and not adventurist, particularly in the light of the near misses or close to accidents that we've seen on the baltic sea or across, over the baltic sea in the air space. we definitely don't want to be in a situation where something goes terribly wrong in that kind of situation. >> well, i think my comments would kind of echo much of that. when it comes to incidents, i think that what i would be concerned about is the contested air space, sea space, et cetera, in the baltic region. that's where i see most activity
going on then, you know. if something is going to happen, that's where it most likely will be, where we might see incidents. hopefully, we'll not see that, but besides from that, i'm going to say that i'm kind of looking forward to after the exercise, when we are able to, you know, to analyze this, the whole-of-government approach and the jointness and how this is all linked together and the element of quality control in this exercise, that's going to be very interesting to analyze, come back to the atlantic council as he talked about in the opening remarks. >> yeah, i would agree. i think seeing how they mobilize, will they go further? i mean, certainly, in the last zapad, they were only in the beginning of thinking about this complete mobilization. seeing how much further they may have come since then.
plus, there are a lot of these internal security forces that have been created by -- built by president putin to protect him, but also with new internal reorganizations occurring of existing forces. and so, i think it will be interesting to see what role they play. is there going to be some kind of color revolution scenario? the little green men, again, some kind of fomented or antiterrorist -- i'm choosing my words carefully here, but some sort of fabricated clash. how would they respond to that within the context of their scenario, within the context of the exercise scenario. so, i think there are a lot of little things we will learn from this in as much as they will increase their readiness, we will hopefully also increase our readiness. >> yeah, that's a great point to
raise, what we're hoping to learn from this. obviously, looking at a number of those smaller operational aspects, command and control, and various aspects that you raised, evelyn, what do we think it might tell us differently than 2013? i think 2013 raised the possibility in a lot of people's minds, and all of a sudden, the world sat up and started paying attention probably a year later. what are we going to be looking for this year, beyond those tactical-level things? >> well, that's going to be interesting, but let's see. i think what we will be looking for is obviously this level of command and control, again, the
whole centralized, how decentralized or the lack of decentralization, as well as the mobilization. and obviously, one big part now is going to see the mobility part, you know, how quickly are they able to move around and readjourn. so, what was mentioned in the beginning here by the railroad part, that's going to be really interesting to see how that is utilized, because it will tell us something about the mobility aspect. and again, i will have to come back to the jointness again, you know, how are we linking the different services and capabilities together and how is that command and controlled, so that's going to be interesting. and then i guess on the overall, if you're going to take it out in the political landscape again, we have a new situation in europe, you know.
there's small differences going three, four years back, you know, the transatlantic situation relationship is slightly different and europe is changing slightly as well, and then you have, you know, syria and ukraine and all these things together creates a different landscape, which in this zapad society's going to happen, and that's a whole new discussion, but it's a part of this discussion as well that's going to really be interesting. >> if i could just add quickly to that. that's what i will be looking at, is not just the exercise itself, but what's happening in the other theaters where the russians are actively fighting in ukraine, in syria, and where they have deployments. are they making any other moves? because of course, they use the exercises not just to mask what they're doing there in the place where they're exercising but elsewhere. so are they deploying new forces or new capabilities elsewhere while our attention is diverted? >> and just to add to that sort
of two key terms or words. first it is sort of how offensive and how openly offensive the nature of the exercise will be. and secondly, how sort of whole of nation, how interagency the exercise will be. there are some tactical aspects to both of these, but certainly also strategic meaning of how this thing will be played out, how extensive the other elements and the defense forces capabilities will be used and also to the offensive nature of the issue, how will sort of overtly anti-west, anti-nato the scenario and the the execution
of the scenario will be. that's something that's very important to take into con. >> certainly. so, in just a moment, we'll open this up to audience questions, so please, start thinking. get those ideas germinating. but just before we do, you all raised an excellent point that this fits within a broader -- zapa sdnk just one point in the broader russia/west, russia/world engagement, so how do we going forward leading up to zapad, post-zapad, recalibrate the, or if at all, the engagement with and the posture that nato and the u.s. and allies have in the region? what are we looking for? how do we -- do we -- what are we looking for from the enhanced forward presence groups, what are we hoping to build up, what capabilities are we looking to perhaps increase in the region, and how are we looking to structure and posture those courses?
>> all right. as far as the posture in general goes, i think it's fair to say that even by now that we are just one year from summit. we can say that the creation of the efp concept, enhanced forward presence concept and deployment of efp battalions to the baltic region has achieved new elements of stability there, and that is a testament to the understanding, in our view, that when it comes to the current context, we have to be very clear and strong in our sort of messaging. now, as far as the current gaps
are concerned, it's certainly the jointness. the execution of the efp concept thus far is very land-centric. at the same time, one of the key words that we are -- or key terms that we are talking about in this context, i see russian a280 capability in the baltic region, which is the matter of keeping the air and sea lines of communications open and making sure that the capability gaps that currently exist in the region, that they get properly addressed. so, we need to go ahead by looking into the caption air defense, also the issues that we
have with the naval capabilities just to make sure that we are determined, but also take into account the realistic challenges that we have in the region. thanks. >> all right. and just to build on that, i think we're on the right track with the efp as well as what the u.s. is doing bilaterally. also, don't forget that european nations can do more together as well. and one example is what norway just did, designed a trilateral mou with the uk and the u.s. when it comes to asw operations. you know, we're all buying the p-8s. so, to take responsibility for one certain region and around nato. also, there is always an extra
mile to go when it comes to intelligence-sharing, cooperation within nato, and we're not where we're supposed to be, but that's something we should continue working on. so, yeah. >> if you have anything? >> i agree with everything they said, so i don't think i need to add. >> great. then we'll open up the floor to questions from the audience. a quick reminder that to please introduce yourself, your name and your organization and to make it a question. thanks. yeah, in the back there. >> hi, my name is andrew. i'm a reporter with politico. i wondered if you could all comment on the larger strategic picture that the exercises will have or the effect it will have on ecrane. does this affect the strategic calculus at all having up to 100,000 troops in a neighboring country? kiev's very far north to ukraine. and it was alluded to earlier
that perhaps other troop movements could be masked or done concurrently with the exercise. is there the expectation of anything like that happening in eastern ukraine? >> okay, i'll go first just by saying that i would not like to speculate on something as serious and sensitive as that. we agree that ukrainians have long paid attention to the looming 2017 zapad and have taken this into account in their own planning and risk assessments, but i cannot speak for them. as far as we go, we just have to take into account this habit, as i mentioned before, that sometimes the exercises have
been a convenient way to do something else, but i don't have any solid information to let me speculate on that right now. >> yeah, i'm not ready to specifically talk about that, but i think we should pay attention to linked activities and parallel exercises, and that also goes with ukraine in case. thank you. >> i mentioned already that i will be watching the ukraine. the speaker of the ukrainian parliament recently made some comments expressing his alarm. of course, the ukrainians are on high alert. we should -- nato, and bilaterally speak with the ukrainians, exchange intelligence, make sure that we are as vigilant as we can be, but i would say that at least in
this arena, my government has been pretty good, actually, very good, in as much as secretary tillerson sunday was in ukraine and gave a very strong statement of support for ukrainian sovereignty. so, in as much as we have a lot of questions about our overall policy, vis-a-vis russia, i am at least encouraged that we made that statement, the united states made that statement recently, and hopefully, we can do more over the coming months as we have the lead-up to zapad. >> here in the second row? >> hi. my name is dimitri. thank you very much for your presentation. my question is you talked a lot about transparency and the policy of accidents. i'm curious what the state of dialogue is between russian military leaders and european and nato leaders, and what would it look like ideally to you? would it be through the oace or the russian/nato council, or how do you communicate between the
two of you? thank you. >> i think that might be a great one -- >> yeah, sure. thank you. yes, i would like to see more dialogue between russian leaders and european leaders. however, in lieu of the sanctions we're seeing right now, that's not possible but i think there is a few communicational lines where we could see an increased activity, and that would be, first of all, within the nato/russia council to get that slowly up and running again. that would be a first step, where we could talk to each other as well as get the transparency issue on the table. and then, of course, oesc and other ways, of course, are welcoming as well, but on the military side, i would say that the nato/russian council would be the preferred way of communicating. thank you. >> i believe there is a nato/russia council meeting
scheduled for july, but i'm not misrepresenting. there was some talk of that. i saw something in the media. but i think what is also important is that we open a bilateral u.s. discussion. it's not going to be a goesion, i don't think, at the offset, but just a discussion of russian military, u.s. military, to talk about strategic stability issues, so to talk about, again, the inf treaty violation, the concerns that russians have about missile defense, et cetera, so that at least we can reduce the temperature a little bit in that area, perhaps open the door somewhere down the line for arms control and getting some of these issues back into a more controlled box, if you will. so i do see a need for a dialogue with russia. i don't necessarily see the likelihood of any kind of new, sweeping agreements, but nevertheless, we have to have dialogue and we need to at least maintain some of the cooperation we have u.s./russian in the nuclear realm.
>> i would just say most of the necessary instruments are there. the different fora from the nato/russian council to the oece and other power arrangements are there. it's just a matter of willingness to actually use them. russian diplomacy is something that has been a long tradition and organized of interesting tricks. they are in many cases very good in sort of, as we sometimes say, turning over the chess table and telling, okay, let's come up with something new, some new instrument, some new forum, and when doing that, you can report
all kinds of new issues into the core program, so i don't think we should sort of fall into that, but try to use the existing instruments within the nato/russian council, perhaps some discussion and questions, too, then, to actually come up with more transparency and more information on this exercise. so far, not too much progress yet. >> we'll go to the other side. >> hi, how's it going? my name's peter reese, an intern with the house foreign affairs committee, but what i wanted to ask today is a personal question. this is a topic i'm very fascinated with. given the developments of countries that have tried to join nato since 2008 -- georgia and ukraine -- my question is, is there a red line in which
nato would draw a red line of countries seeking to join it, as it would have to invoke article five if it truly included them in the regional bloc? so i just wonder if there is a red line in which the risk outweighs the benefits? >> hmm. >> i mean, since it's a political question, i'll give it a stab. i mean, i think from the perspective of nato, it's very clear, if you want to apply for membership, then you must be a democracy, you must have your military organized under civilian control, you must apply, you must go through a process. and then from the perspective of nato, whether nato accepts a country depends on how well they meet the metrics that have been set out politically, and then over time militarily working between the countries. so it's not a -- it's not generally an automatic process, although there are countries
like sweden and finland, you know, if they decided to become members, i believe that they're ready and nato would be, at least on the military side, ready to accept them, and i would imagine politically as well. so, i don't -- there's no red line about whether you can apply or not. generally speaking, countries not in europe, of course, don't apply. >> agree. >> i would just add that if we were to draw that kind of red line, then i'd say that, and as was said, it's a personal question, so i'm trying to pretend that it is a personal answer also and another political question. in that case, i think we would betray our sort of values and probably also be hostage of this sort of red line kind of
thinking. but on the other hand, certainly, just like evelyn said, it's the matter for the members to decide ultimately whether any changes in the membership ad net benefit to the security of the alliance territory. >> and if i could add one more thing, because i think underlying -- some of the assumption underlying your personal question has to do with the debate about nato expansion. and i believe very strongly that when we decided to expand nato in the 1990s, we did not -- and i mean, i know we didn't regard -- nato didn't regard, the united states certainly in supporting that, didn't regard russia as an adversary. it was done in order to increase security and stability in europe so that you could have political and economic development in europe. so those countries thard already made a certain amount of progress were in a sense rewarded for that, if they were
interested in joining nato, they were accepted into nato. and in exchange, they received continued support for what they had already begun in terms of their democratic, economic and military modernization. and so, i would say that that continues to be the case today, even if you took away the threat posed by russia, because they decided to be our adversary. you would still have an argument for expanding nato in order to increase stability and increase a community of nations that are ready and able to defend one another collectively against unconventional threats and against state actors. >> up here in the middle, the woman. >> thank you. i'm suzanne miller, formerly with the u.s. justice department. and a question for the general. what do you see as the gaps in intelligence on the size and
scope of russia's nuclear capability in the region and then also directed potentially at the west? >> well, i think i will -- i'm not in a position to answer that, so i'm sorry, but because my comment, when i commented on the intelligence-sharing mechanism in nato, my point is that that should be broadened and deepened so that more intelligence is being shared between nato nations, and in that way, more intelligence is being available for all of the nato nations. when it comes to where the lax and gaps and things are, i'm sorry, i'm not able to comment on that. >> what about the other panelists? >> would you like to? >> i'd not like to, but -- [ laughter ]
but i'll actually just comment on the nuclear issue, but not, possibly not from the angle that you are hoping for. but instead of intelligence, i would stress the part of sort of understanding the way the nuclear issue is treated in the russian sort of operation or concept and doctrines. and i think this is where we have some sort of catching up to do sometimes. for alliance members, 26 years after soviet union came down and so on, so forth, it's difficult to understand the way the russians see the nuclear capability as something that can be used for actually
de-escalating the conflict and that in their sort of military and political thinking, the nukes can at all stages of conflict be used to sort of out-deter in the contact, that there is always this red button available that can be used in order to deter the other side if this is sort of necessary. and the sort of nuclear is much more integrated into their thinking and into their military -- the use of military capabilities, than it's considered necessary or possible, possible in the west. so, in order to understand that, we need to more study that and also take this into account in
our own exercising in our own running and so on and so forth. >> and this is another area where i think we need to have dialogue with the russians, because this military doctrine of escalation to ostensibly de-escalate, but in my mind it's just escalation, and it's not just my mind, is dangerous, and it rests upon a misconception i think of how the united states and its allies and nato in particular would respond if the russian military escalates, certainly including nuclear weapons, but even with cyber or other conventional means. so, i think that's an area where there's a definite need for dialogue, and of course, there's a heightened interest in gaining intelligence on what the russians are really thinking with that docketi iin rein, bece it's highly dangerous. >> do you expect us to hear anything this fall about that doctrine and how the russians
view it? >> military expert? >> it remains to be seen, but the recent experience tells us that all of the strategic russian exercises have had the nuclear component in it during the last ten years or so, or maybe more. and so, my expectation is that we're going to see the nuclear component also represented in the next exercise. >> if i was to exercise my military, i would think i would like to exercise all the components of it. thank you. >> all right. way in the back. blue tie, white shirt, standing up. >> thanks. jonathan ward, university of
oxford. i wanted to ask you about zapa dmnk the context of the shanghai cooperation organization. i think there's just a tendency to look at russia as principally a western european actor, and i'm wondering if the sco matters in these days in your view as you focus on the european theater, particularly as it expands to include other nations? thank you. >> i guess -- >> talked to him about enga engagement with that, east. >> so, i mentioned earlier that i would like the conversation about these military exercises and about the need for transparency about military exercises generally to be internationalized and to be brought out of the transatlantic context so that other countries that have equities, like china and india and other members of the sco, can also help us, frankly speaking, put pressure on the russians to come back in alignment with their conventional arms control agreements and their commitments. when it comes to sco, i don't really -- i'm not really sure what we can do, because sco
itself, we're not -- the united states is not a member. i don't believe any nato members are members. and it's very much -- the agenda is very much controlled by the kremlin, by beijing. so, i think we can engage with those countries. i'm not sure whether it makes sense to engage through that organization. >> sure. >> maybe just one component, or one interesting bit of information concerning china. it's not in the framework of zapad there say, but as i said before, there is a whole range of different exercises going on during this season. and first we're going to see the russian navy exercising together with chinese navy, first time ever, on the baltic sea this summer. so, the chinese will bring three
of them, their most modern ships, to the baltic to train with the russian navy. >> yeah. >> hi. i'm the guy who introduced the event. so, sweden and finland has come up during the conversation. and again, not members, but nato partners, and they also live in the region, so to speak, and are close russia watchers themselves. can you give us -- can you say something about or give us a bit of a sense of how you're working with sweden and finland in terms of comparing notes or sharing perspectives and thoughts about both zapad and also sort of russian activity in the broader region? >> sure.
of course, we have a good connection with finland, sweden, about all kinds of issues, and there is a tight nordic connection when it comes to looking at things we can do on the military side when it comes to acquisition, to exercises and other things where we can work together as well as sharing notes. when it comes to, you know, sharing notes, sure, that's being done. however, there are a few, you know, limitations on what we can share and what we cannot share, since we're talking about, you know, partner nations and not allies within the nato -- within nato. but i would say that everything is there to be able to cooperate and talk about whatever is on
the table, and that's being done, yeah. >> i think we have time probably for one or two more. the woman in the white shirt? black shirt. sorry, i can't see you. yes, the woman raising her hand on the left side. >> what chance is there -- what chance is there that the kremlin will decide to leave behind a substantial number of troops in belarus to deter the regime -- [ inaudible ] what it had to do in the past moving closer to the west -- >> yeah, go ahead and stand up. we will do a twofer. >> hi. alex ramutin with arms control verification and compliance at the state department. this panel touched on compliancy measures and their importance of reducing tensions in the region. ms. farkas, you mentioned broadening efforts to return russian to compliance by including china and india outside the osc framework and
the vienna document. i'm hoping you can elaborate more on how you see that happening. >> belarus, and i don't know if you want to dive into that one and then move on to belarus? >> well, in belarus, i would say it's not zero, then i'll leave it to the military experts. on broadening, i mean, i don't -- frankly speaking, i haven't thought through the modalities of it, but i think that it's clear that we, nato, bilaterally, we can make an approach to the chinese government because we, certainly in the united states, have an interest also in maintaining a calm military-to-military relationship with china, reducing the risk of miscalculation in the south china sea in particular, to some extent in the east china sea, where there we're closely aligned with japan and we don't believe there is a territorial dispute. so, i think china might be the first one we could go to, but certainly, india, as it is also increasing its capabilities, certainly in the maritime arena.
all of these countries, these big countries, have a lot to gain from maintaining global stability. and russia is the only power that's behaving militarily and politically as a nonstatus quo power. china, while it's pushing the envelope, as i mentioned, in the south china sea, still sees great use for its country and in achieving its objectives to be gained from the existing international order and from existing international law. so while they might push the envelope a bit, to use the tired cliche, tired expression, the russians are beyond the envelope. so, i think we can have a dialogue with these countries, and maybe we create a new mechanism. you know, it might be worth doing that, something like we have done already in the non-proliferation arena where we have the united states leading, or perhaps since the united states is not interested, it appears these days, to be leading large multinational initiatives, we could have another country lead it, maybe estonia or norway.
but that's basically what i had in mind, more or less. >> well, when it comes to the belarus question, since it's not zero, i think that's a great question. and i haven't seen anything where we could not -- we do not expect that to happen. however, we've seen that happening before in other parts of the world, so that's, again, something that we will all be paying a lot of attention to and look for. so, i think that's where we are right now. >> okay. well, i think we're out of time, so on that slightly ominous note, we'll wrap up. and i think i would like to thank our panel for a great discussion. i think it fit zapad into a larger context of russian exercises and engagements in the west and will be a much larger
geopolitical context as well. magnus is going to come up on stage to actually formally close us out and provide some concluding remarks. >> thank you, caroline. and i will be very brief. i will just sort of add my thanks. thanks to you, caroline, for guiding us through the conversation, to our panelists, to chairman mickerson, our partners at the estonian embassy. i think this was fascinating, and there's certainly lots more to discuss. also want to give a round of thanks to the folks sort of behind the scenes here on our end, alexandra, all of those who kept us running, including our social media presence, and of course, the events team here at the atlantic council. i would urge you to stay tuned. as i said, this is really our curtain-rais curtain-raiser, our first shot at this. we will continue doing analysis and watching the exercise closely as we come up to it, and after that, return with a bit of both written analysis and conclusions and observations.
so, do stay tuned on this and other issues related to security in the world and europe. thanks so much to all of you for coming and stay cool out there today. i hear it's going to be a hot one. thanks. [ applause ] and on capitol hill, as the senate gets ready to debate its new version of the health care replacement bill next week, president trump tweeted today about the vice president, who he says is working hard on health care "and getting our wonderful republican senators to do what is right for the people." the congressional budget office is expected to release the projected cost and the number of people covered under the new proposal early next week, with live gavel-to-gavel coverage of the senate on c-span2.
the national governors association summer meeting, live saturday on c-span, starting at 9:30 a.m. eastern. governors talk about computer coding and the importance of computer science in schools with girls who code ceo, former microsoft ceo steve ballmer and tesla's ceo, elon musk, who will speak at the governors' closing session. watch the national governors association summer meeting, live on the c-span networks, c-span.org, and listen live on the free c-span radio app. with the help of our comcast partners, this weekend, the c-span cities tour takes book tv and american history tv to concorde, massachusetts, where the first shots of the american revolution are fired. and then less than a century later, a writer's revolution takes place as the town becomes home to ralph waldo emerson,
henry david theiro and louisa may alcott. saturday, we'll take you inside orchard house, where louisa may alcott lived and wrote the groundbreaking work "little women." then explore walden pond to see the place that influenced henry david theroux and the foundation of the transcendental movement. >> it's the home of two revelations. it stood and watched the beginning of the american revolution through the windows on the hill and the second revolution of intellectualism and thought. it's really a house that has such great history to it. >> on sunday at 2:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv, we'll take you to the north bridge, where the battle of concord began in 1775. >> this is what is considered to be the beginning of the american revolution, because it was here that americans, colonial militia, if you will, and the british regulars, will encounter
one another, shots will be fired, lives will be lost on both sides, but more importantly, it's where the colonial militia was ordered to fire upon the king's troops, creating, in essence, an act of treason. >> then, see the world's largest collection of materials used during the earliest days of the revolution displayed at the concord museum. watch c-span cities tour of concord, massachusetts, saturday at noon eastern on c-span2's book tv and sunday at 2:00 p.m. on american history tv on c-span3. working with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. cia director mike pompeo spoke about some of the counterterrorism challenges his agency faces. he talked about these challenges during a dinner hosted tuesday by the intelligence and national security alliance. >> tonight, i'm pleased to introduce cia director mike