Secretary of Defense Ash Carter met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Pentagon March 26, discussing a range of security challenges shared by the US and the transatlantic Alliance. Specifically, Carter and Stoltenberg addressed NATO’s commitment to the training and assistance mission in Afghanistan, NATO assurance activities, and Russian intervention in eastern Ukraine, according to a read out of the meeting. The meeting, the first of the two leaders, occurred after the conclusion of NATO’s Allied Command Transformation seminar in Washington, D.C., where NATO officials gathered to discuss the evolution of the Alliance’s military capabilities and the threat posed by Russia’s embrace of “hybrid warfare” tactics. Carter assured Stoltenberg the US would participate in NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, and thanked the Secretary General for Alliance member nation participation in both US and NATO reassurance activities in Europe. The two leaders pledged to consult further in the coming months, as NATO gears up for its annual defense ministerial meeting this coming June.
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."