DOD approach to Russia to be discussed in Defense Policy Board closed meetings

By Georgina DiNardo / November 27, 2023 at 11:41 AM

The Defense Policy Board's federal advisory committee with hold two closed meetings on Dec. 5 and Dec. 6 discussing the Defense Department's approach to Russia, according to a Federal Register notice.

The meetings are being held to acquire, analyze and assess classified information pertaining to the DPB’s mission, which aims to provide guidance on DOD strategic planning, policy implications of force structure, DOD’s capability to implement a defense strategy and regional defense policies.

The meetings will consist of classified briefings on defense policy pertaining to the threat Russia poses from now until 2050 and what officials have learned about the war in Ukraine.

Lt. Col Jesse Humpal, the board’s designated federal officer, will begin the meetings by speaking about DPB FACA requirements and closed meeting rules. Then, Sasha Baker, acting under secretary of defense for policy, will welcome the board.

Then, Mara Karlin, assistant defense secretary for strategy, plans and capabilities, who is also performing the duties of the deputy defense under secretary for policy, and Celeste Wallander, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, will discuss updates on how the policy office is tackling Russia.

Nicholas Berliner, special assistant to the president and senior director for Russia and Central Asia on the National Security Council, will add an intelligence community update pertaining to Russia. Gen. Charles Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will speak about how he is approaching Russia. Gen. Christopher Cavoli, commander of U.S. European Command, will provide an update on the combatant command’s approach to Russia.

The DPB will give their recommendations to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks and Karlin for future steps relating to Russia.

The meetings will conclude with remarks from Elee Wakim, from the military experts working group, that relate to findings related to the conflict in Ukraine.

The first meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. on Dec. 5, while the second will start at 8:00 a.m. and end at 11:15 a.m. on Dec. 6, according to the notice. Both are closed to the public.