Defense Secretary Ash Carter met with defense ministers from the “core” countries contributing to the campaign against ISIS on Wednesday, calling it a “very strong, free-flowing working session.” Carter said the group talked about the situation on the ground in Iraq and the criticality of “an accelerated push to envelop and ultimately retake Mosul.” They also discussed Syria, he told reporters after the meeting in Germany, and the “additional resources that will be required” for the “next steps” in the campaign. “I’m confident that today’s meeting will accordingly produce additional military commitments,” Carter said, according to a transcript of the event. Each of them understands that “we all must be prepared … to do more” as the coalition works to stabilize Iraq’s Anbar province, generate Iraqi security forces to retake Mosul, identify and develop more local forces in Syria to “isolate and pressure” Raqqah, and provide more firepower, sustainment, and logistical support to forces on the ground in Iraq and Syria, Carter said. Defense ministers from Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, and the United Kingdom participated in the meeting.
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."