tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 22, 2014 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT
quickly. but we are working and identifying the challenges there and seen the ways in which, again, we can identify best practices, and help move that forward in a more robust way. we are looking at grant guidance across the borough government. those of you who have authority will see how they do that. help incentivize that. the courts are doing some interesting things. they will help provide some incentives to improve cyber hygiene. there are a number of things underway that we're looking at. >> my name is michael kennedy with the agricultural retailers association. i do a lot of work with chemical security and i have been engaged with a private partnership for eight years. it feels like 18-20. i wanted to know -- considering the scope of the
department of homeland security, the laws and regulations and the change in technology that goes on with that. i wanted to know if you had a or what youist may, for congress -- in order for you to incorporate those ideas and enforce them? >> are you nice to ask that question? >> i know. you can pay me later. >> actually, congress -- it is easy to criticize congress in this town. everybody does it. they e the punching bag. i have to give real kudos in the cyber arena. we have seen some bipartisan progress on the cyber front in both the house and the senate, and getting out of committee and the house off the floor. important legislation that would significantly advance the
ball with regard to cyber security. it senate has not gotten to the floor yet and we are working hard. there is not much time left. i think if they are willing to go for the things around, which there is a stronger consensus, i think we could make coming happen in this legislative session, which would be remarkable. in any event, we have members who have worked very hard, particularly i highlight the work of the leadership of the house homeland security committee, who have really rolled up their sleeves and worked in a bipartisan basis to advance legislation. what we would really like to see and they think is doable here, is a clarification of dhs' autho rity. as i said before, we are relying on statutory authority that dates back to the creation of the department, in most places.
2002. you know what this environment is lake. -- like. ve 2014, it is time to not haev us rely on pulling language from here and here that we believe clearly gives us authority in realm, that gives us appropriate authority in the .com world to work collaboratively with our private stakeholders. don'tt lawyers like you have to spend a lot of time reading between the lines to figure this out. particularly important for us to act with the speed that is required. we get there eventually. whether it is working with interagency partners in the wake of a threat like this. or it is working with her private sector folks, whose
technical folks have called and said help, whose lawyer say wait. that is the role of a lawyer. we owe it to them. if we believe that they have the authority -- there seems to be a consensus around this. make it clear. i would be one of the most important things. we have been working on a suite wouldislation, that clarify the roles of the road with information sharing, so that people are comfortable. and it is being done in a way that is appropriate and sensitive with privacy protections. for authority to hire people more quickly and be able to really compete with both interagency folks and also with the private sector more effectively. we're never going to compete on
money, but we can compete on mission. we can work much more quickly than the bureaucracy. that is a big particle we really think we can get through in the session. we are looking for ways that we can strengthen the privacy, understanding, and protections. there's a whole host of things that we would love to do. is to urge right now congress in the short time to at least have those things about which there is a strong consensus. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> a live picture from the pentagon as we wait for a briefing with john kirby, expecting an update on airstrikes targeting and islamic militants in iraq. yesterday, chuck hagel called isis an imminent threat and beyond anything we have seen. secretary hagel says they marry ideology and tactical military
>> again, we're waiting for the start of this pentagon briefing with john kirby. we expected to get underway in just a moment. texas governor rick perry will be arraigned in texas today, accused of office charges. a reporter covering the case spoke with us this morning on "washington journal." caller: can you hear me? host: thank you for taking the call to talk about texas politics. we are talking about texas governor rick perry. can you explain what the indictment is about and what the governor is being charged with? $7.5: the governor vetoed
million last year of state taxpayer money that goes to a -- travis county, to the district attorney's office. the district attorney has been responsible for, among other things, investigating and prosecuting public corruption, when politicians do something wrong this is the agency that handles that. and they get some state money to supplement the budget. vetoovernor decided to state money for this agency. the districtause attorney last year was arrested and convicted of drunk writing. so, he said he had lost confidence in her and she did not deserve the state money. republicans have been at this agency for more than a decade. it feels that --
in democratic travis county, it is dealt with unfairly. they have indicted republicans and democrats in the past. most recently, k hutcheson. so, when the governor vetoed the money, a group filed a complaint, a special prosecutor was named. and, perry was indicted for abusing his authority. at least that is the indictment. and for coercion. basically, he is charged with vetoing money to try to muscle a newly elected council official out of office, regardless of what the voters not county want to say. response is that governors can veto money. that is one of the constitutional rights that they have to do. there is nothing wrong with anything that he did.
i'm being put on trial for political reasons. >> the author of a story in the news -- conventional wisdom in the rick perry indictment story may be incomplete. so, walk us through the mechanics of the trial. many viewers might have seen the mug shot that was released this week. what is next and how long will this trial be drawn out? host: that is a real good question. one of the things that rick perry would like is to move on this as quickly as possible. first, to resolve it. the governor says he is innocent and he wants to be proven innocent. secondly, he is considering running for president in 2016. the worst thing -- not a good thing to have happen is if you are in iowa or new hampshire or south carolina and every news story has the word indictment next to your name. that is not ideal. what happens now, as i understand it -- perry's lawyers
are expected to get the charges dropped. basically saying that the governor is allowed to exercise the right of a veto. if that does not work, then to add a summary judgment. it will say fairly quickly to the judge, we all side in this case agree on the fact. he vetoed mine -- and he has a constitutional right to veto money. the question is a matter of law. does it constitute illegal abortion? did he step over the line by linking to things? it is legal to veto money or a bill. it is also illegal for someone to say i want someone else to leave office because i have lost confidence in them. it is quite another to link the two. or it can be, the prosecution says. if a judge can throw this out,
basically ruling in the favor, they can resolve this in a matter of a few months. otherwise, this is going to go for months, well into next year, before it could go to trial. perry is not likely to settle. the prosecution is not likely to drop the case. neither side will deal. be on trial for abuse of power and illegal coercion. as early as next summer or next fall. >> we played that clip earlier from yesterday at the heritage foundation. what did you make of frick perry in that appearance? >> it is terrific. he is really doing exactly what -- i'm talking politically now. there are two paths he has to walk. one, the legal route. they will figure out the theory and argue.
the other is the political route. what do you do? right off the bat, he got out in front of the story and said this is politics. democrats in travis county are out to get me. it is unfair and it is not right. anybody can get an indictment. i'm going to be fully cleared at every stop. as you saw yesterday in the heritage foundation speech, he looks confident. he looks like a person who is ready to take on the world. he -- says, his political team not only say you are innocent, but exude the confidence of someone who is in innocent. and the result will be, among other things, to rally inservative republicans places like iowa and new hampshire and dr. alina, who will see perry framing the message. i am standing up to democrats
and i am a fighter. they think that is a very appealing political message, as well as the obvious expression of innocence that he wants to protect -- project. host: always appreciate you joining us on "washington journal." guest: great to be with you. >> according to twc news, governor parry will not be in court today for that arraignment. instead, his legal team will make an appearance for him. governor perry is in new hampshire, which is the site of the first presidential primary today. is a possible 2016 presidential candidate. we are live at the pentagon briefing room, awaiting john kirby, expected to update on the situation in iraq, with the airstrikes targeting islamic militants in the country. he says that chuck hagel isisrday colu-- called
>> sorry i am late. i do want to say something at the outset, then we will get to your questions. we are very concerned by the movement of a russian convoy across ukraine's border. we strongly condemn this action and any actions that russians take to increase tensions in the region. russia should not send vehicles, persons, or cargo of any kind into ukraine. expresskiev's permission. this is a violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity. they must remove vehicles and personnel from the territory immediately. failure to do so will result in additional cost and isolation. we're consulting with the red cross and other international partners. as we have more details, what we know, we will certainly do that. ada?
>> does the u.s. consider this an invasion? is the u.s. taking any action? calling any counterparts overseas in ukraine or russia? >> it is certainly unauthorized entry into ukraine by this convoy. we are consulting with international partners right now about the next steps. i do not have anything additional to add at this time. in my opening statement, i made it clear what we are expected out of russia. >> no phone calls with either the administration? >> this is just happening today. i am not aware of any outreach today by this building. i will not speak for other agencies in the federal government. i would remind you that the secretary did talk to the minister a few days ago and the minister guaranteed, was his words, that there would be no military intervention using the pretext of humanitarian relief.
and in fact a shirt us that there would be no military parts of this convoy. >> you said under the guise of a convoy. that there isnce military equipment? >> i am not prepared to speak to evidence at this time. we made our position very clear. we should not be doing this under the guise of a humanitarian convoy, to use that cross these to act to border in an unauthorized way. we have a lot to do here. i think we will sort this out throughout the day. you will hear from us to rub today. joe? secretary hagel and chairman dempsey were talking about the long-term strategy. can you give us a sense of what that means? what are we going to face to see changes in regards to the situation right now in iraq? >> with the secretary was
referring to, i am pretty sure the chairman was referring to as well, that we need to have a regional approach year. in the agency. and an international approach about this threat proposed by an extremist group, isil. this would take time to develop this kind of multilateral and multinational approach to dealing with this threat. the president himself said that this was not going to be over in a matter of weeks. i think we are all recognizing that this group did not grow up overnight. they did not get the capabilities that they got overnight. we have been watching this for a while. we all recognize that it's going to take a while. just as critically, it is going to take a while for everybody, not just the united states military. the secretary was clear about this yesterday. you're not going to see the problem to all --the answer to
all problems to a military threat. we are a component, a tool. operationsucting inside iraq against this group in support of iraqis and kurdish forces. but we will not be the only tool in the toolbox that can or should be used. >> do you know, does the isil in know about iraq and syria? what is the size? >> it is a difficult number to get at, and joe. we have asked ourselves the question. it fluctuates a lot, it changes. if not weekly, then daily. it is hard to pin it down. it is not a classic army that you can just take a look at a map and say this is how many they have. clearly, thousands. there is no question about that. but it changes every day.
flow across that border between syria and iraq, which for all intents and purposes does not exist for them. it is very difficult to pin it down. >> about russia -- is it not accurate that you now estimate there may be up to 18,000 troops near that border between russia and ukraine? is it the reality that you have seen very recently a number of additional heavy weapons, including sa-22 surface to air missiles go across? can you bring us up-to-date on this threatening encounter with the chinese military and the u.s. navy this week in the air? >> there's a lot there, barbara. i am reticent, as i typically in, to give a hard number on russian troops along the border. i have said for several weeks
now that north of 10,000. i believe it is still north of 10,000. we do believe that they continue to add to their battalion groups there along the border. >> north of 10? >> i will stay where i have stayed. north of 10. it does fluctuate. we have seen a consistent increase in the last week or so. i have not seen troops moving away. they have certainly added and reinforced those troops. i am really reticent to get into numbers. it is hard for us here and the pentagon to give an exact field of battle for forces when you're not there with them. so, we are north of 10,000. i think that is fair to say. numberrrisome than the is the readiness and capability that exists in these battalion
tactical groups. their combined arms capable. armor, artillery, infantry, air defense. they are very ready, very capable, very mobile. they will do nothing but increase the tension on the other side with ukraine. just as -- this gets to your second question. just as worrisome is the continued support to the separatists, which continues to this day. it does include heavy weapons systems, air defense systems, artillery systems, tanks. so we are seeing a lot of hardware going across the border in a routine basis. well -- it is hard to believe. to think that this equipment is not moving across the border, accompanied by russian forces. i would not get into an estimate now. but again, let's not get fixated
on the numbers. we tend to go down on that. what is more worrisome is the capabilities, the capabilities that exist on the stroop on that side of the border and the capability that continue to find their way into separatist hands. that is the real problem and that is what needs to stop. you asked about china. i know you may have seen a press report on this. let me give you a little bit of a -- i'm going to give you an update on it, in case you were not following. on the 19th of august, chinese fighter jets conducted a dangerous intercept of a u.s. navy poseidon aircraft. that was on a routine miss ion. it took place 135 miles west of hainan island, on international airspace. we have registered our strong concerns to the chinese about
the unsafe and unprofessional intercept, which posed a risk to the safety and well-being of the aircrew, and was inconsistent with international law. it undermines efforts to continue developing military to military resistance with the chinese military. so, that is where we are now. say withficult to precision. but, within 30 feet of the pa. very close, very dangerous. >> they went within 30 feet and moved around the aircraft over, under, around? >> we believe that they made several passes on three different occasions. pass having 50-100 feet separation. the chinese jet also passed the
nose of the pa at 90 degrees with its belly toward the p8 poseidon. we believe to make a point of showing its weapons. and then they flew directly under and alongside the p8, bringing their wingtips within 20 feet. roll, over the a p8, passing within 45 feet. i am not an aviator, so i will not talk with my hands. basically, here is your p8. so -- pretty aggressive. and very unprofessional. we have registered our concerns very strongly to officials, diplomatic channels with the chinese. this kind of behavior, not only is unprofessional, it is unsafe,
and it's certainly not keeping with the kind of military to military relationship that we would like to have with china. the financier question? i believe there are images -- i don't know. >> i would like to follow up on joe's question. can you tell if the administration is considering more seriously expanding the air campaign in iraq to directly sil in a way that it has not, with the goal of defeating them? some of the comments that the administration officials have made suggest that maybe that is under more serious consideration than it has been in the past. can you update us on the position of weapons? i on your first question, think secretary hegel and the chairman spoke pretty well tonight yesterday. i do not know if i can expound on it any further. we continue to assess and
monitor isil activities. that is one of the reasons we put assessment teams there in the first place, to get situational awareness of what is going on there. as you know, we are engaged in supporting iraqi security forces. and not just only, but with airstrikes. which we believe have had an effect. i am not going to get ahead of planning the hazards for decisions that have not been made. but, um -- i think that you can rest assured that the leadership here in the pentagon understands the threat by this group, understands the threat posed inside iraq, and we are gaining every day a better understanding security force and
kurdish force capability it meeting the threat inside of iraq. 2 point i think are important to make. i will make these points, but i know i am not answering your question. i'm not talking about any future planning our operations. i do want to remind everybody that what we are doing in there is to support iraq. and, ultimately, this is a fight for the iraqi security forces to take on. there will not be a purely military solution. when the secretary and chairman worker yesterday talking, they talk to my using all of the elements of american power and international influence as well to deal with this. ultimately, the answer will be found in government. that does not offer everybody the immediacy that they want to have with dealing with this it is, but ultimately, defeating the ideology through good governance. it is removing the unstable
conditions, the petri dish there which groups like this can foster and grow. that is really where we have to go long-term. continue to to conduct the missions that we have been conducting in iraq. we have seen a more today. over 93 airstrikes -- ultimately, that is not going to be what solves this problem. >> when does it become a question of self-defense versus organizations posing a national threat? the administration has said again and again that they will not hesitate to act against any organization or terrorist group? that seems to me to be different from iraqi -- helping them. >> what you're seeing is due in iraq -- the secretary mentioned this yesterday. part of the mission is supporting, assisting, helping security forces. believe we have succeeded
in blunting that momentum. it is also about protecting u.s. personnel and facilities. including some of the airstrikes in iraq. i think that the united states military has, over the last several years, pretty good track record of defending american americans and facilities in many places around the world, protecting them and defending them from terrorist threats. i am sorry -- yes, there has been -- you heard yesterday and i think i said it before. acretary hagel has set up task force to examine options and opportunities for us to resupply kurdish forces. no decisions have come out. i have nothing to announce about that today. we do continue to help the iraqi government conducted those kinds of resupply missions.
some cases, actually flying their equipment up to where it needs to get. and we need to be encouraged by the international partners, like the u.k. i also want to take the opportunity to thank albania. albania has now come forward and offered to conduct resupply missions for kurdish forces, which we are grateful for. yes? >> can you help me understand what dempsey was saying yesterday. you can't rule out airstrikes inside syria? >> the secretary did not rule anything out. he said that the options remain available. and they do. i will not speculate about where that might take us. i think you can understand why we would not do that. therethe fully operation, was a suggestion from one member of congress that the white house to strode to -- wslow
approve the rescue mission and that may have let's not getting there on time, essentially. the hostages were then moved. do you have any indication that this was slowed down and anyway? >> i don't have any such indication, justin. as we talked about before, attempts like this, which was risky, under the best of circumstances -- they take time. they take time to plan, they take time to organize. just as critically, it takes time for you to become informed enough to be able to conduct the kind of operation. intelligence is not perfect and it is also layered over time. not unlike the way that you all do your jobs. when you're working with sources. you build a picture over time from many different vehicles. that is the way intelligence works and that is the way it works in this rescue attempt.
chairman dempsey said it very well yesterday. there was a lot of planning and a further went into it. once we were on site, we had an indication that they had been at that site. when they were moved, we do not know. slowly doneit was or in a ham-fisted manner, or in , does a disservice to the amount of work and the courageous decision that it was to move forward to make the attempt. also, if you just want a second to editorialize that, i think it says a lot about who we are. not just of the military, but as a country, that we are to try to do something like that. a lot of bravery, let us go, let it. . a lot of names and faces. you will never know. people who put their lives very much at risk to try to save the lives of others. i think that is pretty darn commendable.
>> is there any update on sending this 300 u.s. security personnel to baghdad? is there any specific threat to the embassy in baghdad? are there plans? for these people sent there to prepare for an evacuation, what is going on? we heard this request from the state department. when is it going to be felt? requeste processing a at the state department for some additional security force personnel, for baghdad specifically. requests that we give her forces, we take them seriously. we explore sourcing options. and force protection requirements that go along with it, and a number of other factors that go along with it. we are reviewing that right now. i do not have that today.
as for the need, i would not get into that. i do not talk about specific intelligence matters. i will not do that today. i am not aware of a specific threat at this point. that is the kind of threat that we take very seriously, and we will. >> last night, missouri representatives talked about th e 1033 program. can you tell me if the secretary is contemplating an official yield/ >> the secretary is keeping an open mind about the program. he shares the president's concerns about any blurring of lines between the military and law enforcement. course, certainly as far as that is concerned, leading to the use of military equipment. he has not made any decision about conducting a review. he is still gathering information about it. he met with those rep present it --representatives and had a
meeting with junior staffers the day before to have lots of probing, deep questions about this program and how it is operating. he has not made any decisions yet. i do want to point out that most of the -- the military is not the only source of tactical gear used by law enforcement in this country. i think we are losing sight of that. we see the pictures and we think that is our military. most of the stuff you're seeing ideo is not military equipment. ferguson only has to soft skinned humvees and a generator. and i think a trailer. a lot of this is not u.s. military equipment. point number two -- 95% of the property transferred to local law enforcement through this program is not tactical. it is not weapons.
it is shelving, office equipment, communications gear, that kind of thing. i think it is important to keep this thing in perspective. when the secretary wants to be -- looks atto be, as he this program, he wants to make sure we are striking the right balance. that the rate residence is being transferred. that the accountability is in place. he is also mindful that it is not a good place for the pentagon to be holding sticks out to law enforcement. there is a reason why we are not involved with local lawn force in activities. he wants to make sure that we take the proper place and said this democracy. >> is there any account of these vehicles being heavily armored? >> i do not know if they are or not. vehicles we provided for soft skinned, not armored.
other tactical vehicles, i cannot say to where they got them. i just don't know. the video coming out of her ferguson -- i understand a good look at all that military gear, most of it. in fact, all of it, is not military gear. it was not provided to them. i just wanted to provide a little bit of perspective on your question. margaret? >> we have heard a lot about the response to local retaking their country, and helping to craft a regional response. yesterday, secretary hagel talked about $500 million to help train and equip. syrians. what is the status of that program? it is not going to be funded until 2015. is part of the overseas contingency operations budget request that was submitted to congress this
summer. that is on the hill for contemplation and it has to be authorized by congress. there's also a fiscal year 2015 request. if authorized and appropriated, we would not be able to access that money, and therefore would not be will to accept that program until fy15. we are working through congress and through the budget. the budget vehicles available to us to get that. while we're waiting for congress to act, the secretary is waiting for the joint chiefs of staff, federal command, and his own staff here to further develop the ways in which --should we get the funding we're asking for, the ways in which we would execute them. i do not have any hard decisions. i cannot say where would take place or how many people would be trained. they're still a vetting process that needs to be developed here.
there is still a lot of homework to do. we have informed -- we were over there frequently, keeping them informed of what they're thinking was. it is not fully developed yet. the secretary wants to work closely with congress. as they review the appropriate requests and we continue to develop our plans. >> this needs to happen quickly? is that what the secretary is trying to do? >> we're working through the budgeting process here to develop this program. while, yes, everybody shares a common sense of purpose here when it comes to training in equipped mission for the opposition, we also do not want to get wrong either. you can only go as fast as his right. that means that you have to have a good plan in place. a key to that is a proper vetting process, which we just
have not nailed down. in ordery important, to do this, do have a positive impact on the opposition, that you are working with the rate sorts of folks. >> and my understanding what you're saying to me that this building would not have the authority to act without congressional approval? >> we do not have the authority now to begin a train and equip program with moderate syrian opposition. we want to have the authority and we want to have the sources with it. we want to build a program that makes sense and that will do the job. we are still working on that now. >> in january, this president talked about isil's capabilities and equated it to that of a junior or study team. that was in direct contrast to what the secretary said yesterday. i wonder if there has been new analysis or done to get the
secretary to that position. and, does that mean that isis is getting stronger? >> i-22 at the president said yesterday or the day before, about isil and the threat that they pose, as well as comments made by secretary kerry. everybody has the same view here about the threat posed by isil. not just to iraq, but to the region. this is august. you are talking about, so were made in january. we have been watching this for months. they have grown in capabilities. they have grown and capability with speed. resourcing. by from some criminal activity. as well as donations. and ransoms.
and helped along by sanctuary that they have in syria. so, we have all been watching this. they have advancement capability. withe solve the speed which they gained ground and held ground in northern iraq over the summer. to answer your question, it is a constantly changing, serious situation. their threat continues to grow. does pose an imminent threat and it is a threat that we take seriously. >> the new york time quoted nato officials saying that russian eyes hillary have fired on ukrainian forces. what do you know about that? is that a game changer? >> i did not see the report, so i will not comment on a report i have not seen. what i said at the outset -- the support for separatists, the buildup along the border, the
constant flow of significant weapons systems across the border in ukraine, needs to stop. it just needs to stop. that is as far as i can go. tony? >> the convoy going into there. one of your guys said that it could be a trojan horse. actually, the military could not go in under the guise of humanitarian. do you have any indication that this is a trojan horse? humanitarian supplies, but you still think -- ? >> we do not have the perfect picture of what is in those trucks, tony. i don't have an imperfect picture either. it is the entry, the unauthorized entry into ukraine, which as i said at the outset, is a violation of territorial integrity. we call for russia to pull those convoys back. >> what is the status of the
fiscal 16 budget? you have the specter of sequestration returning. it will be far worse than these others crises. >> we are hoping it does not become a crisis, tony. we want congress to do the right thing, which is repeal sequestration. the work on the 16 budget continues. the comptroller has given his guidance on a range of guidance. agoou are here two years when the pentagon was resized for not planning for sequestration. today, in terms of planning for what may likely happen -- >> we have given the planning guidance for a range of budgetary options. i really don't want to go into any more detail than that. withaw how we dealt sequestration and the planning that we did for a when we submitted the 15 budget. getting that is on
15 budget authorized and appropriated. we have not only had libertarians, we have had many issues up on the hill. secondary to that is the 16 budget. i won't go into detail about that. >> what do we know that this china pa that happened? why didn't you disclose a quicker? >> there was not some machiavelli an attempt here to conceal. i think we needed to process information and figure out what happened. believe, and i think this was the right course too -- we wanted to make sure that we had taken the opportunity to register our deep concern directly with the pla, which we have done. it made no sense to go public with that until we have had a chance to deliver that, which we did today.
i am not aware of a response, thank you. >> do you have any indication from u.s. allies whether there will be air strikes in northern iraq? many have weapons. are there possible airstrikes? i would like to know why they have expressed and why we're the only ones out there. >> it is in its infancy. i will not speak for other countries appear. it is hard enough for me to speak for what i have to speak for here. i speak for the united states military and that is my job. i will not talk about what other countries are willing to do or the timeline. yes? >> i pointed at her. i will get to after that. >> the joint operation center in baghdad is evolving. could you describe how they changed since they first set up? the u.s. is looking at beefing up in erbil? >> the joint operation center
continues to be operational, one in baghdad and one in erbil. in each one has stayed fairly static. there is some fluctuations. i think i can give you an update. are 92 peopleere in that joint operation center. erbil, 68. that has stayed pretty steady and has not changed much. i'm not aware of any plans to beef them up. they're right about where they need to be. >> you said the following. this i mean what they are doing versus the number of people there? >> now that they are up and running and we are conducting airstrikes inside iraq, they are working more and more closely every day with iraqi and kurdish forces on systems and providing advice. but, i would not read more into
it than that. like any military operation, you know, every day you advance and you deepen the dialogue. you increase cooperation. your turn. at least, can you give us a few details as to what level the u.s. military is cooperating with partners in the region, combating operations in northern iraq? secondly, can i get your assessment about the situation in syria in terms of the moderate opposition clashes? how are airstrikes affecting this situation in syria, welhile isil is free to go back to syria? >> the answer to your second question is we have not made any decisions on -- with regard to syria.
i do not have any, i will not speak about operations that were not conducted. i cannot not possibly begin to answer the question. on the first question, the international partners that we are dealing with most every day in iraq -- the iraqis. and, we have made it clear that a big part of our job there is to help assist them in combating this threat. we are doing that every day. had been some international partners who have come forward and made it public that they would assist in the humanitarian side of that mission, the u.k. and australia, the french, and others -- italy. i will let them speak to what they are doing and how they are doing it and the decisions they are making. with regard to day-to-day, specially with airstrikes, it is
being conducted with our partners in iraq, our iraqi partners. yes? >> are we likely to see an additional cut before congress takes spending measures sometime in september? >> i am not aware of any that i would not get ahead of that. i think that the secretary said it pretty well yesterday. we think that we will be ok for fiscal year 14. he opened the door for the possibility that for 15, we might need to look at some additional funding sources. we are not there yet. we don't know. i do not -- no. you had your hand up forever. ok, last one? >> i want to go back to the china fighter. excuse me if i am naïve about this. you said they intercepted the
p8. i wondered if there was any message from the chinese pilot about why they were intercepting there are any standard procedures that go with an interception? if they had noted -- overey did a barrel roll the aircraft. i am aware of any communications. i pointed the specific command for details on that. the message that they were apparently trying to send is that they were resisting the flight of this patrol aircraft, which i remind you, was in international airspace. the message we're sending back to china is that is unacceptable, and unhelpful to the military relationship we would like to have. before i go -- and i doo make a quip not think it came off.
what i say i have our attentiveness, and i my own eloquence, not that i do not like the job. appreciated privilege of being appear. thank you very much, i appreciate it. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] heard, the u.s. government strongly condemns the unilateral movement of a russian convoy into ukraine. is pentagon press secretary calling on the russians to immediately remove this convoy, joining the russian defense minister, who recently guaranteed secretary hegel that the military would not invade ukraine. reports from the crane said russian trucks carrying food, generators, and sleeping bags, crossed into rebel held areas of ukraine on friday without the approval of the government in kiev. they call this a direct invasion.
the russian ambassadors to --ambassador is addressed in this life. we expect comments from ukraine's ambassador. >> we will talk about that later. i am not familiar with this question, thank you for telling me about it. thank you very much. another question? there are media reports that some of the trucks from the convoy were empty. can you verify that? >> no, i cannot. >> you cannot? >> no. >> you do not know what is in all of those trucks? >> what was in those trucks come i just read to everybody. the nature is clear. >> some of them are empty or not? >> i don't know. sometimes -- i don't want to go into that. it is a technical discussion. they're professionals, dealing with those situations. sometimes you have support.
when you move a lot of convoys, some truck is breaking down with baby food, you need to have a spare truck to put the cargo on the spare truck. maybeou move 208 trucks, it does not make sense to have a few empty trucks. i do not know if that is really the case. thank you very much. >> catching the tail end of remarks from the russian ambassador. this started at about 12:30. we will bring it to you later so you can see it in its entirety. you can go to our website www.c-span.org to watch it there. after this we are expecting comments from ukraine's ambassador from the u.n..
>> hello, everyone. , dear colleagues. after you have heard all that, i will now turn our stated. introducing oleksandr pavlichenko. full-fledged rest conference, so we will not be able to answer all of your questions. we are planning to organize a regular press conference after the development that have followed. i will now give it over to oleksandr pavlichenko. thank you. >> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
thank you very much for your attention, and i am sorry we are holding this conference at such a short notice. i just want to make a short in regard to the situation which has taken place in ukraine. with theeply concerned unilateral actions of the russian federation over the delivery of the humanitarian convoy in the east of ukraine. five violation of international law. we think those actions of the russian federation cannot be justified from the perspective of urgency of delivery of assistance in the east of ukraine either. as you might know, on august 14, [indiscernible] the cities of towns of the region.
they are temporarily under control of terrorists. in total, over 70 trucks, up to 800 tons of cargo have been dispatched to the eastern part of ukraine for those people who need assistance. that delivery includes pasta, candidate meets, and other necessities. governmentour also started to clear the humanitarian assistance, the russian humanitarian convoy on the russian border. by early morning today, dozens with humanitarian assistance have been cleared. , today russiaact has begun transportation of humanitarian aid to your
ukraine without the accompaniment of the red cross. also, the border and custom services of ukraine have already convoy.the also, the border and custom services of the ukraine have already started clearing of the russian convoy. russian were locked by forces and were prevented from inspection. despite previous agreements and the fact that ukrainian officials have been invited to the territory of russia, we are concerned about the safety of our employees. moreover, this concert is raised because so far neither the ukrainian side or the -- are aware of the content of the
cargo. the fact that russian trucks entered the territory of ukraine without proper border and customs procedure and that the carter was not given to the representatives of the red cross, in a deliberate nature. as we have emphasized, the russian side is fully responsible for the safety of the cargo. it is important to note that the ukrainian -- that ukraine has already taken all necessary measures to ensure the security of the cargo. in order to prevent any provocations, we have issued all necessary instructions for the of the convoy. despite all attempts that the ukrainian side, the contact between the general staff of the armed forces of ukraine and the one of the russia has not been established, which is critical to ensure security along the route. we point out that terrorists carry out mortar attacks along
the possible route of the cargo. we are not aware of the content of the agreement of the russian insurgents, and we do not exclude possibility of any planned provocations. we consider this act to be violation of the fundamental principles of the international law, including inviolability of borders, interfering with international fears of another state, and fulfillment of obligations by the russian federation. we call for the russian federation to take all possible measures to comply with the conditions on humanitarian aid supply. we regret that russian humanitarian convoy in fact creates more problems than encourages solutions of the crisis. on this i want to conclude my
short statement. ok, so thank you very much. no questions for the moment. as soon as we will get the develops inside, we will -have- >> a few questions. let me. >> ok, if you have time. >> the russian ambassador just said russia actually not some consent from ukrainian government at the top level, and the border guards did not let the convoy -- what was the situation? was there concern of the ukrainian government to get these convoys through or not? >> i do not get your questions. -- our border guards started to clear the humanitarian convoy. we started to do this yesterday. yesterday afternoon. and by this morning, and, as i
mentioned, we cleared about dozens of trucks. unfortunately, russia, despite that they did not wait until all the convoy would be cleared, and they resorted to unilateral actions. yyes. >> in your statement you say that ukrainian government is concerned about the safety of those trucks. u would mean that those trucks can be used like an attack on those trucks, can be used as an excuse to escalate the confrontation? what is your fear? >> the fear is that we as a government can provide security and safety to those cargo when it is moving from the territory which is controlled by the
central government. and we cannot provide full security to the convoy on the territory controlled by terrorists. unfortunately, we do not -- we have not heard anything about the security guards from another part of the fight, and we believe that they could organize some provocations. >> are you saying because when these trucks across the border, are you saying that the ukrainian government will not write to stop them at all, i mean, even if they pastor? >> i think our government will take all appropriate measures which are necessary to protect our sovereignty. i'm sorry, i thank you for your attention. i have to go. >> thank you very much. thank you. that reaction from ukraine's
deputy ambassador to -- responding to russia's recent actions sending a convoy of eight trucks into ukraine. ap reporting nato are condemning russia for sending those trucks without permission int from the ukrainian government. ukrainian officials are describing it as an invasion. and nato secretary general calls it a violation of ukraine's sovereignty, and the pentagon is calling on russia to withdraw the convoy immediately. this should take us to an administration breeding that will start at 1:30. tothe good news is according
media reports the first trucks from the russian humanitarian convoys have reached the city of lugansk, which has been besieged and shelled by the ukrainian ,ilitary for the past few weeks and, therefore, for that reason, a humanitarian catastrophe broke out as well as in some other cities in eastern ukraine. the population of which either is trying to flee, both the crossing into the territory of russia, and those who remain are regarding humanitarian assistance. so on the seventh of august, the foreign minister sent a letter iciche president of the announcing our attention to send a humanitarian convoy in eastern ukraine. on august 12, we received official information, a note from the foreign minister of ukraine confirming their readiness to receive that
humanitarian assistance. after that, the humanitarian convoy started moving towards the territory of ukraine, and they arrived at the crossing point into the territory of the country on 14 august. august wehe 12th of they randomly could be choosing the trucks they wanted to inspect the journalists and of course that additional inspection by journalists wasirmed that there non-humanitarian cargo on the structure. the content of the cargo is roughly 280 trucks who were originally in the convoy.
69 electric generators, 400 tons of grains and cereals, 340 tons of canned meat, sugar, 60 pounds products,milk around679 tons of bottled water. 54 tons of various medical supplies, and over 12,000 sleeping bags. on august 15, according to the understanding we reached with the ukrainian authorities, 69 ukrainian officials arrived at the crossing point. on the russian side the crossing point is controlled by our border of issues, and our customs officials, but on the it is theside, self-defense forces who are controlling the crossing points
at that particular crossing point. the arrangement was that ukrainian officials were arriving at on our side of the border. 59 of them came on august 15. and they could immediately start checking the cargo. and that work was actually proceeding, and in the course of all those days, numerous contacts and exchanges on various levels with the president of the international red cross, the internationals of the red cross and russia, and with ukrainian officials. we were trying to be as transparent as humanly possible in other places. on august 7 i informed the secretary-general of our intention to send that convoy, and the secretary-general welcomed it as a good gesture. we're now have intentions on august 8, the meeting of the security council.
as you know, some chose to play politics without even though normally here in this building you hear people wanting assistance to be delivered. for some reason in this case they were trying to do everything in order to create livable obstacles for the delivery of the humanitarian aid. clear to ourcame people on the ground yesterday and this morning that the ukrainians keep requesting a because there were people on the spot who were supposed to give a green light to the convoy, kept saying that they had no orders to allow for the humanitarian convoy on ukrainian territory. there was a pressing need for that assistance, and some of the goods which i described are perishable goods, particularly the food for children. a decision was taken, and we
and ukrainians on the 20th that we cannot wait much longer. so the convoy departed them and again, as i say, according to media reports, the first trucks already reached the city of new gun scope. lugansk.f onre are some icic people the ground, and the russian red cross is planning to participate. i do not know many details on the ground, but this is the nature of things. so we believe this is something that needs to be done, and we hope that it will provide help to those people who are urgently in need of that assistance, but that does not change the dramatic situation in eastern
ukraine, the shelling and a fighting continues. for immediate and unconditional cease-fire. unfortunately, the ukrainian side, the authorities, have not accepted that. so this drama unfortunately continues. thank you very much. this is my introduction. i'm sorry. >> i am filling in today. i'm certainly not that high up. -- news. thank you for holding this grieving in this time the occasion. as we all know, there are the reports that the first trucks ansk.oing into lugka the ukrainians are considering this a direct invasion. what is your response? atwe are having contacts democratic levels, and we are accepting the ideas of the few the russian of
humanitarian,. they realize that from their perspective it may not look very good if there was russian humanitarian assistance, but no humanitarian assistance from ukraine. we promise them that. at times it seems like there is no clear chain of command in kiev, because some assurances are given at a very high level, and then others do not give orders, which i in card of the border -- i inquired of the border police to let the trucks to do. we have waited long enough. it was time to move. this is what we are doing. we agree some ukrainian officials are trying to stir the situation and create some political crisis, which is there, but not for the reason of the russian humanitarian convoy moving to the people in need. >> thank you.
thanks for the briefing. i want to ask you about the press statement yesterday. i heard there was a statement of proposed in the council about a cease-fire, and the cameras were taken away. if you could say what would happen at that. and as one example, you talked about the salt. i was watching cnn about the convoy, and a question while salt was the. he said there are salt mines in eastern ukraine. one example of the type of goods brought in, what do you make of that? salt if you're not shelled, if you're hiding in your cellars. there are thousands of people on the grad who require this two-minute hearing assistance. -- who are requiring this humanitarian assistance. our ministry of emergency situations is dealing with those things professionally.
a press statement, yes, the we had thement yes, feeling that things were proceeding normally yesterday because all the signals seemed to be there. we proposed a draft statement which would sort of support this joint endeavor by russia and ukraine, which also would call for a cease-fire for the duration of the distribution of the humanitarian assistance. but some people from the spotted in acil typical way. ukrainian delegation sent in amendments where they dropped reference to russia and included a reference to the european union and also dropped reference to a cease-fire, and in the u.s. delegation sent its amendments where they also dropped reference to a cease-fire, but included a clause that said the so-called separatist, it is
their fault, and if there were no separatists, then no humanitarian systems -- assistance would be required. if there are no problems in places the world, in those places humanitarian assistance to copy and hard, but this is not the case, and with all the political conflicts and crises and military conflicts in the world, there's a need to send humanitarian assistance, and this is what states need to be doing and what the united nations needs to be doing it and this is what russia is doing in this particular case. yes. you know that the convoys are entering a war zone, because they are fighting in these areas. should they come under any kind bombardment for lack of commands, from the chain of command, is not very clear to as mentioned. what would russia do -- >> i am not going to go
hypothetical. we have made some official segments expressing our hope effortsre should be no to create problems on the humanitarian convoy. according to media reports from the area where the convoys moving, the route is guarded pretty thoroughly by the local self-defense forces. we hope that the convoy will come to the places where it is supposed to be and that that thee of the icic humanitarian supplies will be distribute it. -- distributed. >> have you received reports on how happened? did you get any reading? and wead information, raised it in the security council twice since the adoption julye resolution 2166 on 26 after the downing of the malaysian airliner.
first we came back to the issue in the security council when we learned -- we read a statement from ukrainians say they were preaching the cease-fire, which was established in the immediate affinity of the crash site by we brought aon. strange response on that from our colleagues cause not only did they say that, the ukrainian authorities, but they implied that breaking the cease-fire was done in agreement with those countries whose experts were there present on the ground. to my surprise and the australian delegation was there. my australian colleague would go out of his way to die succeed himself from the statement. on and he chose to go anti-russian diatribe with some australian officials around that time, saying that the presence of russian troops in the vicinity on the russian
territory and was interfering with us investigation. unfortunately, that was not an indication of their willingness to create an official proper conditions for that investigation, and the last time we raised it in the security council was this past monday, four days ago, where we simply recall that paragraph 18 of resolution 11 66 providing for the secretary giving some information to the council about what is going on. they gave us some very sketchy information. our concern is that it needs to be a real international investigation. this is what is recorded in resolution 2166. we have some concerns about it. it is not clear to us, what is the role of -- this resolution is also pertaining to the need for very close corporation with -- and some elements of what are going on is not clear.
among other things, what is happening with the recordings of the conversations i ukrainian air traffic controllers. you may recall when we had this tragedy in russia, when a plane of the president of poland -- the entire cover session of the air traffic controllers. we have certain arrangements. we expect those arrangements. thisnvestigation is led by board in the netherlands which exists there them and the netherlands have taken the lead in this investigation, so we will see where it will all go. please. >> what is the plan with these trucks that are now at the center of this dispute between russia and ukraine should? once they offload their delivery, what are they doing? are they returning back to russia? nato reports that --
>> we have been reporting those things all along the crisis without the proof of their allegations. >> could you answer the question please -- >> i do not know what the exact arrangement is. we went into very detailed instruction with the icic. russian professionals and icic professionals -- and ukrainians. i will not give you the details of the discussions. please. >> thank you, ambassador. to clarify some are you denying russian troops and artillery are now inside ukrainian territory and firing on -- >> they need to provide troops -- to provide proof, and once they provide proof we can deny or confirm anything else. without providing any proof, i do not see any reason -- information,own
from your own military and information for our russian military -- >> no, no, no. >> what you expect from the security council meeting this afternoon? >> we did not call the meeting. it was called by the if ukrainian-- by the delegation. humanitarian situation in ukraine has stopped working, and we know the division of labor, u.s. and u.k. are not far behind. >> the fact remains still, the report is skirmishes going on as soon as the convoy entered the area, and the pentagon is calling for russia to withdrawal its convoy. is it assuming the convoy does not have humanitarian goods? the situation is escalating
because there is the assumption made by certain quarters that it is not humanitarian convoys, it might contain some artillery. amplei said, there was possibility for double checking on the cargo. even the journalists were -- i bbc journalist. there were crowds of journalists there, split into groups of and were moved all around the convoy. and at random they could point a finger at a certain truck and say why don't you open it up, and join the cargo to them. the pentagon or who ever our american friends, other humanitarians, we just discussed providing humanitarian aid to this area across the border. they were demanding an arrangement which would allow humanitarians to provide the assistance without the consent of the ukrainian government. we cooperated with that.
we produce a resolution which allow the procedure in place. i do not see how with a straight thisthey can argue against move of russia, especially with the background of our discussions with icic and ukrainian authorities and all the others who would care to listen. and i have numerous discussions with some in the powers in new york to explain all the details, and have seen there are no context taking place between the capitals. >> you mentioned the syrian resolution. do you think at some point it will be necessary to arrange some kind of solution in ukraine? >> we are trying to do that. at first we tried to produce a resolution on the crane was june 2. some members of the security council chose to play politics with this humanitarian issue and immediately stopped pulling --
started pulling killer amendments to any draft we produced. >> do you see a role on the secretary general for trying to solve -- if not solved, trying to calm this crisis >> at the beginning he was trying to sh uttle between moscow and kiev? ande has been on the phone, from what we know from this conversation, he was sending the right signals. just made a visit to kiev, and he was previously visiting kiev. this time he was asking to go to moscow. the people who could offer to receive him were not there. the trick the moscow could not be arrange. we would welcome anybody's effort, if the effort is aimed at trying to bring about a cease-fire and movement toward a political process which is
provided by the geneva document of april 17. ambassador, on this situation in the middle east, as far as isis is concerned, it is being said that isis is a threat to international peace and security. as the russian spokesman for the russian government, do you believe that isis should be declared a threat to international peace and security and that the united nations should take -- undertake an action to somehow meet this threat? >> i think everybody who can do something useful to combat that threat should try to do that. at this point, no one has proposed any ideas for the involvement of the united nations on the security -- direct involvement.
we will follow that in our discussions, and we have the oilian -- on no trade of with terrorist organizations in the middle east. byre was a resolution posed some other member of the security council. so we are working on a political front. if other things are proposed, we are going to consider them. saymbassador, what do you to critics who say that this aid convoy is really an effort to resupply the pro-russian separatist rebels? >> with baby food, with baby food. >> rebels have babies, too. >> you are from the voice of america, are you? it is not to make. please wait for me to say the next thing. the united states do not have monopoly to humanism, you know. we are all human. so if you are trying to question
our humanism, i would resent that. but knowing you for such a long time, i know that that was not your intention. that was a fair question. this is my response year for question. >> thank you. decade, we see you -- i'm going to another part of -- >> please go ahead. >> thank you. go into serbia and being a big brother of them. now the prime minister of serbia says that ukraine's sovereignty is not in question. they support it fully. exporte not going to notes to russian now. what you say on this? the --know, i think for the investor of ukraine will be here next friday. i will talk to him about a
number of things. >> my question was about the prime minister of serbia. >> i heard that there were some statements. i would be interested to hear their side of the story. before i hear their side of the story, i do not want to respond your question. >> ambassador, for real, you have been a real supportive of serbia for meaning years. you yourself, for almost a decade. not important, but now that you mentioned, i have been a supporter of server you -- of serbia since 1992, so it has been more than a decade. >> questioning these elements regarding gaza and the cease-fire. you believe that going back to the arrangement of 2005 in gaza is still viable, especially that the forces have changed? talk to theto parties to figure out what they need, and my understand is that you want something more on both sides. so we will see where it goes. >> ukrainian ambassador is going to speak right after you. what should be bear in mind as
we listen to him? >> bear in mind what i just told you, that they see things that are blatantly not true. for instance, a statement from their foreign ministry saying that they do not know what the content of the cargo is, and i did tell you that we inform them about the content of the cargo as far back as august 12. and 59 of the people were on the ground starting august 15 to change -- to check the cargo of . unfortunately there saying things that are not true, and they give conflicting various -- various officials give and take the interpretations of their objections. a person from the security council who started complaining about the trucks. but the trucks -- we told them that they were going to be russian trucks. now he is talking about objections about trucks.
unfortunately they chose not to work cooperatively with us, and this is something which we are offering to them. we want to also provide humanitarian assistance. we said let's do it together. you will help us and give us all the green light and we will out you are under services this. please. --investor, how many trucks what is the route they're planning to cover in the area that if you have any idea? >> i don't. originally we accepted all the gradient proposals. shortcut.to take a they proposed a longer way. we accepted a proposal. again i heard today on russian television that it takes only three hours to come from the border to the city of lugansk, so it should not be an overly competent operation. i'm sorry? >> how many trucks reached the place? >> ambassador, if this trucks or the next trucks will be a part
-- attacked by ukrainian force -- what will be your -- >> i do not want to be answering the question. >> yesterday kuwait arrested a person from isis who bragged that he spoke to two people in syria. then the authorities released that one person. >> i'm not familiar with this situation. we will talk about later. >> are you content -- >> i'm not familiar with the question. thank you for telling me about it. thank you very much. another question out him a place. >> there are media reports that some of the trucks convoy were empty. so can you verify that - no, i can't. >> so you do not know what is in this trucks -- .> i just read to everybody
the nature of the cargo is completely clear. >> at some of the trucks are empty or not? >> i do not know. i do not a. anyway, i do not want thet to go into it. professionals are dealing with it. sometimes you have things in support. when you move a lot of cargo which want to deliver, and some truck is breaking down with baby food. you need to have a spare truck to put this cargo on the spare truck. 280 trucks,e sometimes and make sense to have some empty trucks. but i do not know if it is the case. they give very much. -- thank you very much. pictures from martha's
vineyard. we are waiting today's administration briefing with the deputy press secretary. they are on location. pentagon of today's briefing from earlier today. >> thank you, everybody. i want to say something at the outset and then i will get your questions. we are very concerned by the movement of the russian convoy across the grain tossed border. we strongly condemn this action and any action russian forces take that increase tensions. ,ussia should not send vehicles of any kindcargo into ukraine. without kiev's express permission. this is a violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity.
russia must remove vehicles and personnel from the territory immediately. failure to do so will result in additional costs and isolation. we're consulting with the red cross and other international partners. as we have more details, what we know, we will certainly do that. ada? >> does the u.s. consider this an invasion? is the u.s. taking any action, calling any counterparts overseas in ukraine or russia? >> it is certainly unauthorized entry into ukraine by this convoy. we are consulting with international partners right now about the next steps. i do not have anything additional to add at this time. in my opening statement, i made it clear what we are expecting out of russia. >> no phone calls with either the administration? >> this is just happening today. i am not aware of any outreach today by this building.
i will not speak for other agencies in the federal government. i would remind you that the secretary did talk to the minister a few days ago, and the minister guaranteed, was his words, that there would be no military intervention using the pretext of humanitarian relief. and in fact assured us that there would be no military parts of this convoy. >> you said under the guise of a humanitarian convoy. is there evidence that there is military equipment? >> i am not prepared to speak to evidence at this time. we made our position very clear. they should not be doing this under the guise of a humanitarian convoy, to use that as an excuse to act to cross the border in an unauthorized way. we have a lot more work to do here. i think we will sort this out throughout the day.
you will hear from us throughout the day. joe? >> secretary hagel and chairman dempsey were talking about the long-term strategy. can you give us a sense of what that means? what are we going to face to see changes in regards to the current situation right now in iraq? >> what the secretary was referring to, i am pretty sure the chairman was referring to, as well, that we need to have a regional approach. and an international approach about this threat proposed by an extremist group, isil. the president said this was not going to be over in a matter of weeks. i think we are all recognizing that this group did not grow up
overnight. they did not get the capabilities that they got overnight. we have been watching this for a while. the secretary was clear about this yesterday. you're not going to see the problems. we are a component, a tool. we are conducting operations inside iraq against this group in support of iraqis and kurdish forces. but we will not be the only tool in the toolbox that can or should be used. >> do you know, does the pentagon know about the size of isil in iraq and syria? what is the size? >> it is a difficult number to get at, and joe. we have asked ourselves the
question. it fluctuates a lot, it changes. if not weekly, then daily. it is hard to pin it down. it is not a classic army that you can just take a look at a map and say this is how many they have. clearly, it's thousands. there is no question about that. but it changes every day. they have free flow across that border between syria and iraq, which for all intents and purposes does not exist for them. it is very difficult to pin it down to a given number. >> about russia -- is it not accurate that you now estimate there may be up to 18,000 troops near that border between russia and ukraine? is it the reality that you have seen very recently a number of additional heavy weapons, including sa-22 surface-to-air missiles go across? can you bring us up to date on this threatening encounter with
the chinese military has had with the u.s. navy this week in the air? >> there's a lot there, barbara. i am reticent, as i typically in, to give a hard number on russian troops along the border. i have said for several weeks now that it's north of 10,000. i believe it is still north of 10,000. we do believe that they continue to add to their battalion groups there along the border. >> closer to 18,000 or north of 10,000? >> i will stay where i have stayed. north of 10,000. it does fluctuate. we have seen a consistent increase in the last week or so. i have not seen troops moving away. they have certainly added and reinforced those troops. i am really reticent to get into numbers.
it is hard for us here in the pentagon to give an exact field of battle for forces when you're not there with them. so, north of 10,000. i think that is fair to say. more worrisome than the number is the readiness and capability that exists in these battalion tactical groups. they are combined arms capable. armor, artillery, infantry, air defense they are very ready, very capable, very mobile. they continue to do nothing but increase the tension on the other side with ukraine. just as -- this gets to your second question. just as worrisome is the continued support to the separatists, which continues to this day and does include heavy weapons systems, air defense systems, artillery systems, tanks. so we are seeing a lot of hardware going across that border in a routine basis.
>> [indiscernible] >> it is hard to believe. it is strange to think that this equipment is not moving across the border, accompanied by russian forces. i would not get into an estimate right now. but again, let's not get fixated on the numbers. we tend to drill down on that. what is more worrisome is the capabilities. the capabilities that exist on the stroop on that side of the border and the capability that continue to find their way into separatist hands or actions. that is the real problem and that is what needs to stop. you asked about china. i know you may have seen a press report on this. let me give you a little bit of a -- i'm going to give you an update on it, in case you were not following.
on the 19th of august, an armed chinese fighter jet conducted a dangerous intercept of a u.s. navy poseidon aircraft. that was on a routine mission. it took place 135 miles east of hainan island in international airspace. we have registered our strong concerns to the chinese about the unsafe and unprofessional intercept, which posed a risk to the safety and well-being of the air crew and was inconsistent with customary international law. it undermines efforts to continue developing military-to- military resistance with the chinese military. so, that is where we are now. >> [indiscernible] >> it is difficult to say with precision. but within 30 feet of the p8. very close, very dangerous.
>> if they went within 30 feet and moved around the aircraft over, under, around? >> we believe that they made several passes three different occasions, crossed under the aircraft, with one pass having 50 to 100 feet of separation. the chinese jet also passed the nose of the p8 at 90 degrees with its belly toward the p8 poseidon. we believe to make a point of showing its weapons. and then they flew directly under and alongside the p8, bringing their wingtips within 20 feet, then, conducted a roll, over the p8, passing within 45 feet. >> [indiscernible] >> i am not an aviator, so i will not talk with my hands. basically, here is your p8.
so pretty aggressive. and very unprofessional. we have registered our concerns very strongly to official diplomatic channels with the chinese. this kind of behavior, not only is it unprofessional, it is unsafe, and it's certainly not keeping with the kind of military to military relationship that we would like to have with china. did it answer your question? i believe there are images -- i don't know. >> i would like to follow up on joe's question. can you tell if the administration is considering more seriously expanding the air campaign in iraq to directly confront isil in a way that it has not, with the goal of defeating them? some of the comments that the administration officials have made suggest that maybe that is
under more serious consideration than it has been in the past. can you update us on the provision of weapons? >> on your first question, i think secretary hagel and the chairman spoke pretty well tonight yesterday. i do not know if i can expound on it any further. we continue to assess and monitor isil activities. that is one of the reasons we put assessment teams there in the first place, to get a situational awareness of what is going on there. as you know, we are engaged in supporting iraqi security forces, and not just only, but with kinetic airstrikes, which we believe have had an effect. i am not going to get ahead of planning that has not been done or decisions that have not been
made. but i think that you can rest assured that the leadership here in the pentagon understands the threat posted by this group, understands the threat posed inside iraq, and we are gaining every day a better understanding of iraqi security force and kurdish force capability in meeting the threat inside of iraq. two points i think are important to make. i will make these points, but i know i am not answering your question. i'm not talking about any future planning or operations. it is important to remind everybody that what we are doing in there is to support iraq and, ultimately, this is a fight for the iraqi security forces to take on. there will not be a purely military solution. when the secretary and chairman were talking yesterday, they
were talking about using all of the elements of american power and international influence as well to deal with this. ultimately, the answer will be found in government. that does not offer everybody the immediacy that they want to have with dealing with this threat, but ultimately, it is defeating the ideology through good governance. it is removing the unstable conditions, the petri dish through which groups like this can foster and grow. that is really where we have to go long term. we are going to continue to conduct the missions that we have been conducting in iraq. we have seen it more today. we are up over 93 airstrikes. ultimately, that is not going to be what solves this problem. >> when does it become a question of self-defense versus organizations posing a transnational threat? the administration has said again and again that they will not hesitate to act against any organization or terrorist group? that seems to me to be different
from iraqi helping them fight -- good afternoon. i'm going to let the deputy national security advisor lead us off for 10 or 15 minutes and take care of foreign policy questions, and then i will pull up the rear. >> thanks, everyone. international votes, one is nato is -- [indiscernible] jet -- chinese [indiscernible] in international waters -- [indiscernible] >> sure.
with respect to the chinese jet that either the pentagon spoke to this earlier today. it is obviously a deeply concerning provocation, and we have commutenicated our objection. details,of additional the pentagon spoke to those, but again what we have encouraged is constructed military to military ties with china, and this sort of action clearly file eight the spirit of that engagement, and we have made our concerns known directly to beijing. with respect to the development in ukraine, we very much condemned the violation, flagrant violation of cranium sovereignty we saw today with oye movement of this conviv and ukraine. the regulations that make clear that ukraine would have to accept the delivery of any humanitarian convoy to the country. it was made clear the icrc would have to participate in the
delivery of the assistance. that has not taken place. the government of ukraine to not give agreement with this convoy to move within their borders. this is part of a pattern we have seen in recent weeks, and we have highlighted above russian support to armed separatists in eastern ukraine that violates ukraine's sovereignty and destabilizes the situation. soon we are concerned about this. we are in touch with the training government. we will be in touch today with our partners at the un security council, to discuss next steps. russia should take the opportunity to remove this convoy from the thing ukraine. if they do not, they will face additional consequences in the united states and our partners and the international community. >> apparently nato is saying there are russian utility -- artillery in ukraine as well. >> we have seen the use of
russian artillery you in ukraine. i would not want to speak to an individual instance today, but it certainly has been a pattern whereby we have seen firing from within russia into ukraine, and we have seen disturbing movement of russian artillery and military equipment into ukraine as well. this takes place in the context of the separatists dramatically losing support in eastern ukraine and the military making gains. the way, however, to respond to that situation and the humanitarian need, the legitimate humanitarian need in eastern ukraine is to pursue a path of deescalation, not to move forward of further violations of ukraine's sovereignty. which has only alienated russia from the people of eastern ukraine and isolated russia in the international community. >> on the islamic state, jed general