An official website of the United States Government
Here's how you know

Official websites use .gov

.gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS

A lock ( lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby Holds a Press Briefing

PRESS SECRETARY JOHN F. KIRBY: Afternoon, everybody. Happy Friday to you. I've got a few things to get through at the top here.

You may have seen that the White House just announced that the president will be presenting the Medal of Honor to Master Sergeant Earl Plumlee, Mrs. Tamara Cashe on behalf of Sergeant Frist Class Alwyn Cashe, and Mrs. Katie Celiz on behalf of Sergeant First Class Christopher Celiz at a White House ceremony scheduled for next week.

I think you probably know many of these stories. But Master Sergeant Plumlee is receiving the award for heroism and selflessness that he displayed on the 28th of August 2013 in Ghazni province, Afghanistan. 

Sergeant First Cass Cashe is receiving the award posthumously for heroism and selflessness that he displayed October 17, 2005, in Saladin province, Iraq. And Sergeant First Class Celiz is receiving the award posthumously for heroism and selflessness that he displayed July 12, 2018, in Paktia province, Afghanistan.

These awards are long-awaited and undoubtedly well-deserved for such displays of heroism and courage. And we remain grateful to Master Sergeant Plumlee, Sergeant First Class Cashe, Sergeant First Class Celiz for -- and their families for their service and their sacrifice.

On scheduling notes, Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks hosted the fifth iteration of the U.S.-U.K. defense dialogue via a secure video call today with her U.K. counterpart, Permanent Secretary for Defence Mr. David Williams.

The two leaders met virtually to deepen cooperation on a wide range of issues, including defense strategy, technology, innovation, force development and strategic competition. They discussed the upcoming National Defense Strategy, the Nuclear Posture Review, implementation of the trilateral AUKUS partnership, and opportunities to improve technological cooperation and supply chain resilience.

They also discussed Russia's concerning military movement near Ukraine's borders and reaffirmed their unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

The two leaders also affirmed shared commitment to deepen space cooperation, agreeing to sign a statement of intent regarding enhanced space cooperation between the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.K. Ministry of Defence. Their statement intent outlines strategic objectives to pursue integrated and interoperable space capabilities, mitigate threats that are posed by adversaries and support freedom of action in all domains.

And again, a travel -- I'm sorry, a schedule issue for the deputy secretary. She will depart on domestic travel Monday, the 13th of December. She will visit Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Michigan, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Space Command, and the U.S. Space Force Training and Readiness Command out in Colorado. 

She will also visit the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii, Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in California, and U.S. Strategic Command in Nebraska. She'll have a chance to talk with lawmakers, military leaders and service members to see firsthand the department's efforts to rapidly advance warfighting concepts and capabilities to meet advanced threats, and of course to hear about challenges and successes within each command.

Dr. Hicks will also meet with leaders and service members across each of these commands that she's visiting to gain insight into family readiness challenges, career development and other issues which affect the workforce.

And finally, this Saturday, I think you all know the secretary will join the chairman at the 122nd Army-Navy football game at 3 o'clock Eastern Time at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. It's always a memorable afternoon when these two teams get to play. 

Of course, I think many of you have seen the game or have been around long enough to know that it's -- it's really more than just football here. These cadets, these midshipmen, they're the future leaders of the sea services, and of course of -- of the Army. 

And we wish them both the very best and look forward to seeing them play. And to -- and the secretary is very excited to get a chance to do that in-person tomorrow afternoon.

So with that, Bob?

Q: Thank you, John. You mentioned the National Defense Strategy. And I'd noticed that Mara Karlin today said that the Nuclear Posture Review and the Missile Defense Review will be, quote, "nested under" the National Defense Review. 

I'm wondering if you can explain whether that means that we will see any of those pieces in January or does -- are they all going to come out together? Or how's that going to work?

MR. KIRBY: I don't have an update on the exact roll-out scheme. I think what Dr. Karlin was referring to is that they are all informing the NDS, of course. And I think you heard the secretary talk about the National Defense Strategy last weekend and said that his expectation is that we'll be able to get it out early next year. So I don't have an update on the exact schedule, but we're working hard on the National Defense Strategy as well as, you know, the reviews. And -- and again, note, it will certainly inform each other. 

Q: Just a quick follow-up on the Nuclear Posture Review. There have been reports, I guess it's a known fact -- I guess it was announced, but that DoD has asked Carnegie to do a separate study to feed into that regarding the future of the ICBM force. There has been questions about whether that means it has delayed the Nuclear Posture Review or if they're just starting that now, will it really come out in January? 

MR. KIRBY: I don't know of any delays to the Nuclear Posture Review, Bob. I think, again, this is an inter-agency effort. It's not just a DoD effort. And it's being led by the national Security Council staff. So I'd refer you to them for any updates on timing. But, I mean, we're contributing to it. And and I don't -- I just -- I don't know of any schedule delays on that. 

Q: I didn't realize the NSC is leading the Nuclear Posture Review. 

MR. KIRBY: It's an inter-agency effort. It's not just -- it's not just DoD. 

Q: Is that true of the missile defense review as well? 

MR. KIRBY: That I'd have to check, Bob. I -- I don't know. Let me check that. 

Q: Do you expect January or is that too...

MR. KIRBY: Again, I'd say early next year, which is what we're driving to. But I don't have a date certain to give that to you. 

Yes, Jen. 

Q: John, I'd love to get your reaction to the possibility of Julian Assange being extradited to the U.S. from the U.K.? 

MR. KIRBY: I have not seen reporting on that, Jen, so I'd be loath to give you a position by the department on that. I -- I don't have anything on that today. 

Q: OK. Let me move on to Ukraine and Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry has called on the U.S. to rescind any offers to join NATO to Ukraine and Georgia. Is that something that the administration would agree to? Where do things stand on offers of membership in NATO for Ukraine and Georgia? 

MR. KIRBY: Yes, I mean, we've talked to this. I think the secretary has spoken to this. I mean, obviously NATO membership is -- is a NATO decision to make. It's -- and Secretary General Stoltenberg has made it very clear that the alliance makes those kinds of decisions. And the other thing you've heard President Biden say is it's up to individual sovereign countries to determine their own associations and how -- and to what degree they want to participate in associations. So this is -- membership in NATO, regardless, is, again, for NATO allies to determine. 

Q: But is it off the table? The Russian ministry has said that things -- tensions will decrease if NATO membership is off the table for Ukraine and Georgia. Is that something that you would ever agree to? 

MR. KIRBY: That's not -- so, first of all, that, again, is not a Department of Defense call. I mean, that is, again, sovereign nations decide that. And NATO allies are sovereign nations. So I don't have anything additional to offer on that today. 

Q: And what are seeing in terms of the build-up on the border since the president's call with Putin? 

MR. KIRBY: I would say that there still is a sizable amount of Russian forces in the western part of their country, around the borders -- well, the border with Ukraine to the -- to the north, to the east, and to the south of that -- that extreme eastern part of Ukraine. 

Q: Has it changed...

MR. KIRBY: There have been -- I don't have any major changes to speak to today, but we have continued to see increases over recent days and weeks. 

Sylvie?

Q: You know, John, yesterday during his meeting with Minister Gantz the secretary said that if the talks with Iran fail, U.S. is going to turn to other options. Is the military option one you are thinking about?

MR. KIRBY: What the secretary said was that President Biden had said that he wants to see diplomacy succeed and -- and should it fail, he's open to considering other options. There's lots of options available to the commander-in-chief, to the president, and I'm not going to speculate one way or another about what they might be. 

I would simply say, as I've said before, we have a robust presence in the region. We have national security interests in the region. And the secretaries job is to defend those national security interests, so we're going to continue to do that. 

The secretary himself wants to see diplomacy succeed here. No problem in the Middle East gets easier to solve with an -- a nuclear armed Iran, and he believes that diplomacy and a return to the JCPOA is -- is the best way to -- to prevent that outcome.  

Q: General McKenzie told The Financial Times yesterday that U.S. has plenty of military options at its disposal. So...

MR. KIRBY: This -- go ahead.

Q: ... what kind of military options?

MR. KIRBY: Look, this institution exists to provide the president options across all manner of contingencies, Sylvie. I'm not going to speculate about where this is going to go. We still believe there's room for diplomacy. We still believe that that's the best path forward, and -- and that's what -- that's what this administration is focused on is getting back into the JCPOA and preventing Iran from being able to achieve that nuclear capability. Yes?

Q: Thank you John. So I'm going to stay on the same -- same topic.

MR. KIRBY: Sure.

Q: In light of the meeting yesterday, did the U.S. -- did the U.S. agree to hold joint military exercises on targeting Iranian nuclear facilities as reported by Channel 13 in Israel? 

MR. KIRBY: The -- so a couple of thoughts there. First of all, we routinely train and exercise with our Israeli counterparts. That's not new. We -- we have done that historically, we'll continue to do that. I'm -- I'm not going to get into specific training scenarios and I have no additional or more specific training events or exercises to speak to today. 

Broadly speaking, as you would expect, Iran and their destabilizing behaviors and activities in the region were absolutely a key topic of discussion yesterday. And the secretary and the minister discussed that activity on many different levels, but I have no additional or -- or future training and exercises to speak to today. 

Q: So just to clarify before I follow-up.

MR. KIRBY: Sure.

Q: So we don't count this as a follow-up, when you say...

MR. KIRBY: No one's following up.

Q: ... I don't want to miss my opportunity. When you say I don't have additional exercises to speak of, do you mean there's nothing scheduled or?

MR. KIRBY: I mean I have no additional training exercises to -- to speak to. I -- again, I -- I addressed this a little bit yesterday, I've seen the press reporting. We routinely train with the -- the Israelis, and I have nothing to announce today with respect to the reports in those articles.

Q: Minister Gantz again tweeted yesterday about the meeting that he talked about the need to deepen our dialogue and cooperation, including on topics of "military readiness to stop and face Iran's regional aggression." The military readiness he was speaking about vis-a-vis Iran, did it include nuclear facilities as well? 

MR. KIRBY: Yes, I'm not going to go into any more detail than -- than what the minister went into. He is the minister of defense, Secretary Austin is the Secretary of Defense. It makes sense that they would talk about military readiness against a shared common threat, and Iran presents a shared common threat to us and to our Israeli partners, to the region. So of course they talked about military readiness and -- and capabilities.

Q: Thanks.

MR. KIRBY: Yes, Goyal?

Q: Thanks John. Two questions please. One, as far as helicopter -- military helicopter crashed in India carrying a (inaudible) of (inaudible). Any concern, any comments on that? And also secretary have had met with him on several occasions during his visits to India.

MR. KIRBY: Yes.

Q: Any affect on the U.S./India military to military relations?

MR. KIRBY: There won't be any strategic affect on our relationship Goyal. We have a -- a close defense partnership with -- with India and we want to see that continue to grow and to deepen. As you know, the secretary was in New Delhi a few months ago to have discussions, and -- and -- but more critically, as I said the other day, the entire department mourns with the people of India and the Indian military for the loss of General Rawat and his -- his wife and all the others that were killed in that tragic helicopter crash.

And we're going to, obviously -- nothing we can do to assuage that grief, but we're certainly going to continue to look for ways to -- to keep the defense partnership healthy and strong, which is exactly what General Rawat would've wanted.

So we're -- we're -- again we -- we grieve with them and it is certainly a blow, but the strength of the partnership is strong enough that, you know, we -- we believe we'll be able to overcome that. And, again, I think that's what the general would -- would want. 

Q: There's a high level of investigations going on. Is DoD part of -- in any investigations of this tragedy?

MR. KIRBY: I know of no U.S. military participation in investigations of this crash. That's -- all those questions are much better put to the ministry of defense in India.

Q: Second question, if I may. As per the U.S. national security is concerned and a reasonable piece in the Indian Ocean or in the South Asia Sea, who is more dangerous, Russia or China?

MR. KIRBY: Nice try. Look, we -- you've heard the secretary talk about the pacing challenge in China. He would certainly commend you to look at the speech he gave at the Reagan Defense Forum a week or so ago. I think he laid out his concerns very, very clearly. He talked about the fact that we have to face this challenge with confidence, not fear, and -- and that while -- whether certainly advancing capabilities, China's not 10 feet tall, his exact words. 

And you've heard us talk throughout the last couple of weeks, for sure, but even longer, back about Russia and the destabilizing activities that they continue to profit, whether that's in cyberspace or on the ground and in the air, at sea. And -- and that's all, I think, evident in the concern over Russia is evident in the -- the presidents discussion with -- with President Putin earlier this week.

So they both present challenges to our national security interests, and that's why we're going to remain focused on -- on -- on being able to address those challenges across multiple domains. You've heard the secretary talk about integrated deterrence. That -- that gets exactly to what I'm trying to talk to you today, which is the -- the idea of netting together all our capabilities and the Joint Force, but also those capabilities among our allies and partners to deal with these kinds of -- of threats and challenges, because we obviously want to -- we'd prefer to deter conflict, to prevent it from happening than have to fight it, but if we have to fight it, we have to be able to win, and that's where we're focused on.

Let me get here -- Alex Horton, Washington Post?

Q: Hey, John, thanks. Yeah, the -- the Army's vaccine numbers are coming out next week, and we already have a good idea where they're at, which is about 14,000 or so soldiers who haven't gotten a vaccine of any kind. And that also means that we now have a pretty good picture of how many active-duty troops across the services are unvaccinated, which is a -- you know, somewhere around 40,000. So as of now, with that number in mind, I mean, would you say the secretary expected that much? Is that below or above the targets you were -- you were hoping for? And separately, with -- with Dr. Fauci and making recommendations to get the booster, will a three-shot regimen be the new requirement for the department going forward?

MR. KIRBY: The secretary's expectation is 100 percent vaccination. That's what he wants to -- to see, and I would certainly --- I -- I won't speak for the Army and their numbers of where they are right now, but with active-duty personnel with at least one dose right now, we're at 96.4 percent. Active-duty personnel that are fully-vaccinated stands at 90 percent. And then across the total force -- this includes Reserves and Guard -- fully-vaccinated, where it's almost 74 percent. 

So the numbers keep -- keep trending in the right direction, and we're -- we're glad to see that, Alex. We know there's more work to do, and there's some deadlines that haven't passed yet, as -- as you well know, as well. But the secretary's expectation is, because this is a mandatory military readiness requirement, is that everybody's going to get it with the exception of those, of course, who are properly exempted from it, either doctors' orders, or they have applied for an exemption that has been accepted.

And I'm sorry. I completely lost train on your second question.

Q: The second question is Dr. Fauci has recommended everyone get the booster, so is -- what -- what are you guys doing about policy for -- for servicemembers to be considered fully-vaccinated? Will that move to a -- a booster shot, as well?

MR. KIRBY: That's a -- that's a terrific question. There are active discussions here in the department at the policy level about booster shots and whether or not to make those mandatory. There have been no final decisions made about that. Rest assured that should there be an addition to that in -- in terms of the mandatory vaccine requirement, we will -- we'll clearly communicate that and be transparent about it. But there are discussions in the department about the efficacy of enacting a -- a booster mandatory policy, as well.

OK, yes, Ryo?

Q: Thank you. Two questions about Southeast Asia. The -- the secretary said in the Reagan National Defense Forum he would visit the Southeast Asia early next year. Which countries is the secretary looking at to visit? 

And secondly, one of the conclusions of the Global Posture Review for the Indo-Pacific region is the DOD should expand the regional access. So is that part of their objective for the secretary's upcoming trip to the region?

MR. KIRBY: Well, we haven't announced this upcoming travel. You're right -- he did tease that in the -- the Reagan speech. I -- I think in relatively short order we'll be able to talk about an upcoming trip to Southeast Asia. I'm not prepared to go into the details of it right now, today, but we are in the planning stages of a trip to Southeast Asia. And wherever we go in the Indo-Pacific, this issue of -- of access opportunities, additional training opportunities, bilateral defense relationship growth and development all of that will be on the agenda every time we go to the region.

So I don't want to get ahead of a trip that hasn't been announced yet, Ryo but when we can talk about it with more detail and dexterity, we will. But yes, there is a trip coming up early in the year to Southeast Asia, and again, we'll have more details on that as it gets finalized. OK?

Jeff Sullivan, VOA?

Q: John, thanks very much for doing this. Two questions, one on Ukraine, one about Afghanistan. On -- on Ukraine, how confident is the Pentagon in the Ukrainian military's ability to defend itself from a Russian incursion, given that some other recent efforts to help arm and train forces so they can function without U.S. forces on the ground haven't gone so well? 

And then with Afghanistan, in an interview with AP yesterday, CENTCOM's General McKenzie indicated that it seems Al Qaida is growing right now in Afghanistan. I'm wondering what the Pentagon can say about this growth. Is it leaders? Is it foot soldiers? And -- and what does it say as far as the Taliban's commitment to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for plotting against the West and the U.S.?

MR. KIRBY: Thanks, Jeff. On Ukraine, as you know, we continue to provide measures of security assistance to them. We talked about just this week the conclusion of the -- the $60 million security assistance package that President Biden approved this year that has just wrapped up. Our security assistance covers a range of capabilities, not all of it in the lethal -- or -- or defensive category. But -- but we believe all of it important to help bolster their capabilities to defend themselves and defend their people. And as you heard the national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, say the other day, that, you know, we are certainly keeping on the table the potential for additional security assistance, should that be required. But the Ukrainian defense forces -- and -- and they don't just get assistance from the United States. They get security assistance from other countries as well, and I would let them speak to their capabilities and their level of confidence in their capabilities. But we're -- we have and will continue to look for opportunities to help them better defend themselves.

On Al Qaida and General McKenzie's comments, I think he also noted that it -- that while he -- he saw some increase in footprint there, that it wasn't -- it -- it wasn't significant. And -- and he noted, as we have all noted, that, you know, that we expect the Taliban to meet their commitments when -- their commitments that -- that they made that they would not harbor Al Qaida, that they would not, you know, bolster Al Qaida, that they would -- that they would not tolerate attacks being planned by Al Qaida on their soil. So I mean, that's -- that continues to be our -- our expectation for the Taliban. 

That said, we're clear-eyed about this and we're going to continue to work to make sure we have the kinds of over-the-horizon capabilities in place, such that should we see indications -- credible indications of an attack on our homeland or on our interests emanating from there or anyone else, that -- that we can take the steps to eliminate that risk.

Let's see -- Mallory, USNI?

Q: Hi, John. Thanks for doing this. I wanted to follow up on the vaccine question. Are there still any ongoing remediation efforts for service members who have not received the vaccine? And how committed is the Pentagon to separating service members who have continued to refuse vaccination, including after they have had a denied exemption?

MR. KIRBY: Those are great questions actually for the military departments, Mallory. The -- that -- those sorts of -- of -- of actions are not being handled centrally by the department, at this level, by the -- at the Secretary's level. 

There's -- the service secretaries and the -- and the service chiefs are in charge of their -- the way they are implementing the mandatory vaccine requirements and each of them have to do that in accordance with their own manpower, their own resources, their own operational requirements, and they're doing that.

So I think each of the services can better answer that question, in terms of what -- what their administrative procedures are for people who continue to refuse the vaccine and are -- are not exempted from it -- officially exempted from it.

The only thing I would add to that is that it -- it remains the Secretary's expectation that the -- the mandatory vaccine will be implemented in a -- in a compassionate and thoughtful way, that -- that -- that his expectation is not that -- that the result would immediately go to some sort of punitive or administrative action against a member of -- that every effort be made to make sure that they understand the ramifications of the decision that they're making and the ramifications to their health and to their unit's readiness before any sort of administrative action is taken. That's his expectation, that's what he laid down for the services.

Q: So if I could just follow up on that? So it -- does that mean -- is there a window of time for that -- you know, for those efforts to be ongoing? I mean, I guess there has to be a cutoff eventually, right?

MR. KIRBY: Any service would be responsible for determining how long would counseling and education go before some sort of action would have to be taken. Again, that -- that would be in the purview of each of the military departments to determine.

Q: So it's up to the services?

MR. KIRBY: Yes, ma'am.

Q: Thank you.

MR. KIRBY: Yes, ma'am.

Luis?

Q: John, going back to the vaccine and about the discussions to make it mandatory, is -- does that mean it's voluntary right now? Are you strongly encouraging the -- the -- the booster be taken by service members? I mean, is that ... 

MR. KIRBY: ... it's -- it's not voluntary anymore, it's a mandatory military requirement.

Q: No, I mean the -- the booster.

MR. KIRBY: Yeah, I think we talked about this earlier. There are active discussions here at the department about the efficacy of a mandatory booster requirement. We aren't -- we aren't -- we aren't that -- at that point now, Luis, but there are active discussions about, you know, whether and to what degree that might be the -- the right way forward. And if we do make that decision, we'll certainly communicate that. We'll have to communicate that to the force.

But there's -- there's no requirement for it at this time. Fully vaccinated either means one Johnson & Johnson or two of the other types of vaccines, and in this case, the Pfizer one is the one that is being used for the mandatory -- for the mandatory requirement, because it's -- it's been approved.

We obviously encourage those who can and -- and who are -- by CDC guidelines, are -- are recommended to get the booster, to get the booster. So the Secretary absolutely encourages people, if -- if they can and if they qualify, to get the booster, but right now, there's no requirement for it.

Q: So the booster is not being offered at military hospitals and military healthcare?

MR. KIRBY: Yeah, it is. I've gotten one myself, right here in the Pentagon.

Yeah?

Q: Can -- can I switch over to Hawaii please? The -- the Pearl Harbor situation, the Red Hill situation continues to develop. I asked you earlier this week whether there was consideration of maybe moving on and you said that the Navy's still looking at this process, but there are national security implications now because of the request for the state of Hawaii to completely shut down and drain out the fuel that's there. Is that a concern for this department, as well, or is that just something, because it is a joint (inaudible) Navy facility but it's fuel for all of the Joint ... 

MR. KIRBY: For the Joint Force.

Q: For the Joint Force?

MR. KIRBY: Yeah, I mean, this is a strategic fueling capability, there's no doubt about that. We recognize that, Luis. I don't -- look, the Navy has suspended operations there. The Secretary supports that suspension and he also supports the Navy's investigative efforts. He wants to see that -- that we determine the source of this contamination and that -- and that, to the degree we can, we stop that contamination from, you know, wherever -- wherever it's emanating from.

So I don't -- I don't want to speak for the investigation or what it's finding -- that's still ongoing. We're mindful of the importance of the Red Hill Bulk Storage Facility to the Joint Force, as you rightly pointed out. 

I know that there have -- I -- I -- I'm well aware of the state of Hawaii's desires here. I will let the Navy speak to their communications with Hawaiian state officials. I -- I would just add, if I can, how seriously the Secretary's taking this. In fact, he took a briefing by the Chief of Naval Operations last night -- last evening about their progress, mitigating measures, investigative process, taking -- how they're taking care of families that have been displaced, as well as medical care for those who have sought medical care.

So he is -- and he's getting daily updates from the Navy department, written updates, as it is, but he did take a briefing from Admiral Gilday last night. So he is personally monitoring this, very seriously concerned about it, wants to make sure, first and foremost, that the health and well-being of our people are -- are -- are being -- you know, they're being considered and -- and looked after, and he's -- he's aware of what the Navy's been trying to do to get people temporary lodging and make sure that they get safe potable water and to restore the -- the plumbing in their housing so that they can go back home. So he's -- he's monitoring that closely.

And secondly, that -- again, whatever the source of this contamination is, to the degree we can stop it, that we -- that we stop it. So I think that's where the focus is right now, and again, I'd let the -- I'd let Navy leadership speak about their coordination and discussions with -- with the state of Hawaii.

Yes, Oren?

Q: John, it's a two part China question. The Military Power Report talked about China's efforts to build essentially a network of bases or facilities across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. As a general question, the first one, is -- is how does the U.S. assess that effort and what's the U.S. doing to respond?

And the second part, a much more specific one, is China has upgraded facilities, I believe, in Djibouti. Does that -- is the Pentagon considering changing the posture at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti?

MR. KIRBY: I -- I don't have anything with Camp Lemonnier to speak to specifically. 

But to your broader question, yes, you're right, the report noted that China has been trying to improve their access and influence all over the world. And we're not asking countries to choose between China and the United States, but as we talked about regarding Equatorial Guinea, we're also not going to be bashful about speaking to foreign leaders about our national security concerns and the national security implications of -- of -- of permitting fostering that kind of Chinese physical presence in those locations.

So we're watching it, obviously, closely, because we know -- and he's -- he's talked about this -- that in many ways and in many places, the Chinese are trying to disrupt a rules-based international order that has really been in place and helped rise to prosperity and safety and security millions of people across the world, and they're trying to disrupt that rules-based international order and that -- that we believe that those efforts are very much in our national security interests.

OK, happy weekend, everybody. Go Army, go Navy. It's going to be a good game. Thanks. See you.

33:59
Play