Jeff Seldin Profile picture
National Security Correspondent @VOANews Ex @WTOP/@FederalNewsNet, @SyracuseU @NewhouseSU (RTs ≠ endorsement) Email: jseldin@voanews.com / DM me for Signal
22 Apr
Happening now: @CENTCOM Commander Gen. Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie briefs Pentagon reports on #Afghanistan withdrawal

"I would advise the #Taliban we will be prepared to defend ourselves" he says
"We do plan to continue support to the Afghan military...it will just be more difficult" per @CENTCOM's Gen. McKenzie

"We intend to continue to support them" he adds "It will be a tough fight for the Afghans"
"It is our intention to bring the contractors out, the US contractors will come out" per @CENTCOM's Gen. McKenzie, saying planner looking at other options to support Afghan air force

"We may be able to work some remote, televised way to do that"
Read 20 tweets
22 Apr
Happening now: @CENTCOM Commander Gen Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie & @USAfricaCommand Commander Gen Stephen Townsend testify at SASC
.@CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie tells lawmakers he has all the tools he needs to complete the withdrawal from #Afghanistan
"We will lose the abilities we have now to see completely into #Afghanistan" per @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie, asked by @SenJackReed about impact of withdrawal on intel collection vs #alQaida #ISIS
Read 42 tweets
22 Apr
US offers help to #Indonesia in search for lost submarine

"Indonesia is a strong friend & strategic partner" per @DeptofDefense spokesperson John Supple "We have reached out to our Indonesian counterparts & asked them how we can be of assistance.”
More: "We were deeply saddened to see the reports about their lost submarine" per Supple "Our thoughts are with the Indonesian sailors and their families"
UPDATE: US sending help to #Indonesia in search for lost submarine

"At the invitation of the Indonesian government, we are sending airborne assets to assist in the search for the missing submarine" per @PentagonPresSec
Read 5 tweets
21 Apr
Pentagon Seeks Carrier Deployment as It Exits Afghanistan, in Sign It’s Readying for a Fight nytimes.com/2021/04/21/us/…
.@PentagonPresSec on @nytimes report @CENTCOM wants an aircraft carrier for #Afghanistan withdrawal

@SecDef "has made clear that we will execute the drawdown in Afghanistan in a safe, orderly & deliberate manner & that we will do everything possible to protect our troops..."
More: "We do not speak about his private communication with combatant commanders or force posture decisions under consideration" per @PentagonPresSec "For operational security reasons, we will also not preview specific force protection measures being planned”
Read 4 tweets
20 Apr
Happening now: @CENTCOM Commander Gen Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie, @USAfricaCommand Commander Gen Stephen Townsend & @DeptofDefense Acting UnderSec Amanda Dory testify at the House Armed Services Committee
"In #Afghanistan, our mission has been preventing terrorist groups from using the country to threaten the interests & security of the UnitedStates, our allies & partners" acting Deputy UnderSec Dory tells lawmakers "After 2 decades...we have accomplished that mission"
"We are focused on working closely w/the Afghan gvt & our @NATO allies to responsibly conclude Operation resolute Support in #Afghanistan" per @CENTCOM Commander Gen McKenzie "This is my main effort, at present"
Read 53 tweets
20 Apr
US reaction to reported death of #Chad President Idriss Deby

"We would like to express our condolences to the people of Chad for their loss" per @USAfricaCommand spox Col. Chris Karns "The United States is closely monitoring the rebel incursion in Chad..."
"#Chad plays a vital role in efforts to counter regional transnational threats" per @USAfricaCommand's Col Karns "Chad's ability to contribute to regional security initiatives helps reduce instability in the region"
"We continue to remain encouraged by #Chad|ian participation in regional counter violent extremist
organization efforts such as the Multinational Joint Task Force, G5 #Sahel Joint Force & the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in #Mali" per Col Karns
Read 9 tweets
20 Apr
"Every operational plan in the department and every other capability we possess rests on an assumption that strategic deterrence and in particular nuclear deterrence is holding" per @US_Stratcom's Adm Richard "If that fails, nothing else in the Dep. of Defense works as planned"
US "facing two nuclear capable strategic peer adversaries at the same time, both of whom have to be deterred differently" per @US_Stratcom's Adm Richard "#Chinese & #Russia|n advances are eroding our conventional and strategic deterrence"
"#China in particular, I submit, cannot be considered anymore a lesser included case in this context" per @US_Stratcom's Adm Richard

"In the very near term, China will possess a credible nuclear triad..."
Read 4 tweets
20 Apr
"Strategic deterrence ... if that fails, nothing else in the department of Defense works as planned" @US_Stratcom Commander Adm Charles Richard tells Senate Armed Services Committee, warning of danger from nuclear #Russia & #China
#China "at some kind of an inflection point... well ahead of the pace to double their [nuclear] stockpile by the end of the decade" per @US_Stratcom's Adm Charles

"In the very near term China will possess a credible nuclear triad"
"#Russia remains the pacing nuclear threat" warns @US_Stratcom's Adm Charles, saying #Moscow's nuclear modernization is 80% complete, while the US is still at zero
Read 17 tweets
19 Apr
Just in: More than 28% of US military now vaccinated vs #COVID19, per @PentagonPresSec
"We do continue to see that build-up.. we call on #Russia to make their intentions more clear" per @PentagonPresSec "We call on the Russians to cease their provocations"

No comment on EU estimate that Russia has massed 150,000 troops in #Crimea, along #Ukraine border
"In general, we have continue to see this build-up increase...that is concerning to us" per @PentagonPresSec, asked if build-up has plateaued at all
Read 11 tweets
15 Apr
HAPPENING NOW: @POTUS talks #Russia after slapping #Moscow with what US officials described as sweeping sanctions for a variety of malign activities Image
"Earlier this week, I spoke w/President Putin of #Russia about the nature of our relationship" per @POTUS "I was candid & respectful. The conversation was candid & respectful - 2 great powers w/significant responsibility..."
"#Russia|ns & Americans are both proud & patriotic people" per @POTUS "And I believe the Russian ppl, like the American ppl, are invested in the peaceful & secure future of our world"
Read 18 tweets
15 Apr
NEW: "We believe we have the means to keep an eye on any terrorist threats or any sign of #alQaida's resurgence w/out having a persistent footprint on the ground" per @PressSec Jen Psaki
"The threat against the homeland now emanating from #Afghanistan can be kept to a level that can be addressed w/out that persistent footprint" per @PressSec, adding US "will retain significant assets in the region"

CT capabilities also being repositioned to counter any threat
Stable & predictable relationship w/#Russia "has to be our objective" per @PressSec "Obviously, this continues to be a difficult relationship. There are adversarial components..."
Read 5 tweets
15 Apr
NEW: #Russia military build-up along #Ukraine-"There is a very large ground domain force...There's also a sizable air force & there's a notable maritime force" per @US_EUCOM Commander Gen Tod Wolters tells House Armed Services Comm. "It's of great concern. Our vigilance is high"
NEW: Likelihood of #Russia invasion of #Ukraine in next couple of weeks "Low to medium" per @US_EUCOM Commander Gen Tod Wolters
#Russia supply line activity to forces building up along borders w/#Ukraine "has plateaued" per @US_EUCOM's Wolters

But he also says, "With the trend that I see right now, the likelihood of an occurrence will start to wane" after a couple of weeks
Read 6 tweets
14 Apr
HAPPENING NOW: News conference with @NATO SecGen @jensstoltenberg, @DeptofDefense @SecDef Lloyd Austin & @StateDept @SecBlinken
"We will start the withdrawal ... by May 1" @NATO's @jensstoltenberg says of the abt 10,000 mostly non-US troops currently in #Afghanistan

Says withdrawal will be completed "within a few months"
"This is not an easy decision & it entails risks" per @jensstoltenberg, saying the departure of troops is not the end of @NATO's relationship w/#Afghanistan
Read 23 tweets
14 Apr
HAPPENING NOW: Senate Intelligence Committee's Hearing on Worldwide Threats

"We look to our intelligence agencies to provide their best & most objective analytic judgments" per Chairman @MarkWarner "...free of bias, & not “shaded” in any way to fit a particular policy or agenda"
"We're going to need to discuss the situation in #Afghanistan" per @MarkWarner, in introductory remarks...
voanews.com/south-central-…
"It's the one time a year where the American public & the members of Congress here in the Senate get an unvarnished presentation by an apolitical intelligence community of the real national security threats" per Vice Chair @marcorubio
Read 56 tweets
13 Apr
BREAKING: @ODNIgov issues assessment on Worldwide Threats a day before intel chiefs testify before lawmakers

"#Beijing, #Moscow, #Tehran, & #Pyongyang have demonstrated the capability & intent to advance their interests at the expense of the UnitedStates...despite the pandemic"
"#China increasingly is a near-peer competitor, challenging the United States in multiple arenas...#Russia is pushing back against #Washington where it can globally, employing techniques up to and including the use of force" per Annual Threat Assessment
dni.gov/files/ODNI/doc…
"#Iran will remain a regional menace w/broader malign influence activities" per @ODNIgov report "#NorthKorea will be a disruptive player on the regional & world stages"
Read 37 tweets
13 Apr
"@NATO remains the strategic center of gravity" @US_EUCOM Commander Gen Tod Wolters tells Senate Armed Services Committee
"That will improve our capabilities in all domains" @US_EUCOM's Gen Wolters tells lawmakers when asked about the announcement 500 more troops are headed to #Germany
.@US_EUCOM commander making the case for the F-35 joint strike fighter jet

"The F-35 is very important" Gen Wolters tells @JimInhofe "We in the US need F-35s in #Europe ... to make sure we have the competitive advantage necessary" vs #Russia
Read 13 tweets
13 Apr
NEW: @USArmyEURAF getting 2 new units - about 500 soldiers w/a Multi-Domain Task Force - & will retain 3 sites that were to be returned to #Germany "due to growing operational requirements in the European theater"
europeafrica.army.mil/ArticleViewPre…
The move comes less than a year after the Trump administration announced it would be moving a substantial number of forces out of #Germany
"New strategies and a continuously changing operations environment requires more capacity" per MajGen Chris Mohan, commanding general for 21st Theater Sustainment Command, in statement
Read 6 tweets
12 Apr
NEW: @DeptofDefense withholding findings of investigation into the #alShabaab attack on the #MandaBay airfield in #Kenya -which killed 1 US servicemember & 2 US contractors- pending "an independent review" by "a 4-star general officer"
defense.gov/Newsroom/Relea…
"It is the Secretary’s desire to ensure there is a full examination & consideration of the contributing factors ... & that appropriate action is taken to reduce the risk of future occurrence" per @PentagonPresSec "The families impacted deserve nothing less"
Review will be led by @TRADOC Commander, Gen Paul Funk

"An independent review will provide added insight, perspective, and the ability to assess the totality of this tragic event involving multiple Military Services & Department of Defense components" per @PentagonPresSec
Read 8 tweets
12 Apr
#Russia|n hackers did breach the email of the @DHSgov front office as part of #SolarWinds hack, former acting secretary Chad Wolf tells @Heritage

"They're all unclassified email accounts..." he adds
"The access is what I was most concerned about" former acting @DHSgov secretary Chad Wolf said of "when they told me, 'Hey, look, your account, 1 of your email accounts...could be hacked'"

"If they have the ability to do that, what else do they have the ability to do?"
"Just the fact that they're able to do that was my primary concern" per ex @DHSgov acting secretary Chad Wolf re #Russia-#SolarWinds hack

"The fact that they got my email & knew that I was running late to meetings or had a schedule change, not that big a deal" he tells @Heritage
Read 4 tweets
12 Apr
Per @CJTFOIR, 5 #ISIS fighters were killed, 10 hideouts & 3 tunnels destroyed, and equipment/supplies confiscated
#Iraq also targeted #ISIS locations in the area w/airstrikes just last month
Read 7 tweets
12 Apr
New nominations from @POTUS to fill out @DHSgov

Deputy Sec - John Tien

@CISAgov Director - Jen Easterly

@USCIS director - Ur Jaddou

@CBP director - Chris Magnus

General Counsel - Jonathan Meyer

UnderSec for Strategy - Robert Silvers
Nominations of Jen Easterly to head @CISAgov and Chris Inglis to be National Cyber Director getting bipartisan praise from @CyberSolarium commissioners @SenAngusKing @JimLangevin @RepGallagher @SenSasse
.@DHSgov @SecMayorkas on the latest @POTUS nominations
Read 7 tweets