FW: WH pool report #6

From: David Smith [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Tuesday, April 5, 2016 6:16 PM
To: Velz, Peter T. EOP/WHO ; Barnes, Desiree N. EOP/WHO ; Gabriel, Brian A. Jr. EOP/WHO ; Bentley, Lauren G. EOP/WHO
Subject: WH pool report #6

Here as promised are POTUS's opening remarks in the Cabinet Room before he talked about Isil:

"Come on in everybody. Everybody all set? Good. Well good afternoon, this is one of my regular meetings with Secretary of Defense Carter, General Dunford and our entire military leadership including the joint chiefs of staff and our commanders from all around the world. These meetings are always an opportunity for me to review the defence strategy broadly, the priorities in the budget so they can realise that strategy, and most importantly it gives us an opportunity to talk about our incredible men and women in uniform and the sacrifices they make, the health of the force and making sure we do right by them.

"Secretary Carter spoke earlier today about how we have to make sure the Department of Defense is fully organised and has all the tools that it needs to meet a wide range of emerging threats. I'm very pleased that our budget agreement that we signed last year allowed us to get some relief out of sequestration. Those were some harmful cuts on both the defence and the non-defence side but because of that relief, and building on that, the budget that has been proposed makes that sure we're investing in our national security, our global leadership and our economic security here at home.

"We're investing in capabilities that our military needs to deter aggression and defend our security and that of our allies, and this includes increases in our posture in Europe to reassure Nato allies in the light of particularly increased aggressive actions by Russia, it allows us to enhance our maritime cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, it allows us to boost cyber-security which is going to be an increasing threat that has to be addressed, it allows us to invest in the future of our force, support our military families and make sure that our technological edge is maintained relative to forces all around the world.

"This will also be an opportunity for us to review the military campaign against Isil and, although he is not here because today was his retirement ceremony, I think it would be a great opportunity to salute General Lloyd Austin. He served our nation in uniform for nearly 41 years including his repeated tours in Iraq. As commander of Central Command, he oversaw the operations in Afghanistan to Iraq and our campaign against Isil. He did an outstanding job in every single assignment that he received. We are profoundly grateful to General Austin, his wife Charlene and the entire Austin family.

"Our military campaign against Isil's now being led by General Votel and Joe has brought incredible skill and dedication to his most recent prior assignment, heading up our special forces. We are working to make sure that we're accelerating the campaign against Isil in Syria and Iraq... [see WH pool report #4]

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David Smith

Washington correspondent

The Guardian

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