Press Gaggle by Secretary Mattis

Secretary Of Defense James N. Mattis


SECRETARY OF DEFENSE JAMES N. MATTIS:  So we're having the Poles here today, a NATO Ally, an Ally that’s actually not only meeting 2 percent going higher than 2 percent, they've actually invited American troops to be forward-stationed there.  

We're going to be discussing that today at length; the details.  It's obviously something we'll discuss with all of the Allies as well.  We have a very strong bilateral relationship with the Polish military, and the minister and the ministry of defense, and we'll further discuss it when we're in Brussels with them.

But we're working it out, kind of the details -- not kind of.  We are working out the details on what the offer is, what can best contribute to alliance unity, to alliance security and to the continued strengthening of the bilateral relationship.

Further, I do want to hear how they believe the recent NATO exercise went, Trident Juncture, which was up in the Norwegian Sea.  Part of it was in Iceland.  Part of it was in Norway.  But I want to get their impressions on this.  

But also to talk to them about a number of issues that have to do with military mobility in Europe.  This is actually where you move forces from one part of Europe to another part, and how do we speed that movement when political decisions are made -- excuse me.  I've been talking too much today, as you can see again.

But how do you actually move the forces around in terms of being a good deterrent, because any adversaries see if we can bring forces from a number of countries together quickly to a point of where they need to be located for deterrence.

We also have some other issues that we're going to be looking at here today that have to do with the continued, I would just call it, the initiatives that we put forward.  For example, the four 30s, which is 30 air squadrons, 30 ships, 30 battalions, and all available to be employed, not deployed, but not be employed within 30 days.  

So that is something I need the Polish minister's advice on, and if we could get some more countries to give me that advice they will know actually the timeline for going forward on their initiative.

STAFF:  Mr. Secretary, the delegation's arriving now.