Austin Thanks Congress for Continued Support of Ukraine > U.S. Department of Defense > Defense Department News


As the United States faces challenges from China and a heightened threat from Russia, it is imperative that we have the authorities we need to keep the American people safe, deter adversaries, and support a lethal, resilient, and healthy joint force.

Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III held a sideline meeting with some U.S. senators this week at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh said at a press conference today that Austin thanked lawmakers for their continued support for Ukraine and encouraged the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act.

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“At a time when the United States faces challenges from China and a heightened threat from Russia, it is imperative that we have the necessary authorities to keep the American people safe, deter adversaries, and support a lethal, resilient and healthy joint force.” Singh said.

Singh characterized the fighting in Ukraine as a “dynamic and active battlefield.” She continued, “We see that the Ukrainians will push back using weapons and systems that we have provided, but other partners and allies have provided.”

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The Department of Defense is very concerned about Russian bombing of Ukrainian infrastructure using Iranian-origin drones. She said strikes on the power grid targeting Ukrainian civilians have been included with dire consequences as winter approaches.

The department, in consultation with allies, partners and Ukrainians, is conducting ongoing discussions to address Ukraine’s urgent needs — not only on the battlefield, but also to maintain their own infrastructure, she said.

“We see Russia further isolated to resupply countries like Iran and North Korea. That clearly shows their weakness, and clearly shows how isolated they are in the world,” she said.

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Regarding Turkish airstrikes on Syrian and Iraqi Kurdish positions this week, Singh said the department continues to monitor what is happening on the ground.

Turkey claims the strikes are against terrorist groups responsible for a deadly bombing in Istanbul on November 13.

“We continue to call for de-escalation. … These attacks from all sides are jeopardizing our mission, which is to defeat ISIS,” Singh said, referring to the Islamic State.

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