Russians given ‘virtually zero’ support to the US fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq: Pentagon chief

Defense Secretary Ash Carter says the Russians have given “virtually zero” support to the United States in fighting the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.


Carter tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Russia had promised to help fight extremists and help end the Syrian civil war. He says Moscow could have done that by urging Syrian President Bashar Assad to step aside and build a new government involving opposition leaders.

Carter says that the Russian instead “doubled down on the Syrian civil war.”

The Pentagon chief also was asked about the allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. election. Carter says President-elect Donald Trump should consider a range of options.


Ash Carter

United States Secretary of Defense

Ashton Baldwin “Ash” Carter (born September 24, 1954) is the United States Secretary of Defense. He is also a physicist and a former Harvard University professor of Science and International Affairs. He was nominated by President Barack Obama, and confirmed in February 2015 by the Senate by a vote of 93–5, to replace Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense.

Carter received a B.A. in his double-major of Physics and Medieval History from Yale University, summa cum laude, in 1976. He then became a Rhodes Scholar and studied at the University of Oxford, from which he received his D.Phil. in theoretical physics in 1979. He worked on quantum chromodynamics, the quantum field theory that was then postulated to explain the behavior of nuclear reactions and the structure of subatomic particles. He was a postdoctoral fellow research associate in theoretical physics at Rockefeller University from 1979 to 1980 and a research fellow at the MIT Center for International Studies from 1982 to 1984.

Carter taught at Harvard University, beginning in 1986. He ultimately rose to become chair of the International & Global Affairs faculty and Ford Foundation Professor of Science & International Affairs at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs within the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Carter is author or co-author of 11 books and more than 100 articles on physics, technology, national security, and management.

Carter served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy during President Clinton’s first term, from 1993 to 1996, responsible for policy regarding the former Soviet states, strategic affairs, and nuclear weapons policy. He was Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics from April 2009 to October 2011, with responsibility for procurement of all technology, systems, services, and supplies, bases and infrastructure, energy, and environment, and more than $50 billion annually in R&D. He was then Deputy Secretary of Defense from October 2011 to December 2013, serving as the chief operating officer of the DOD overseeing an annual budget in excess of $600 billion, 2.4 million civilian and military personnel, and global operations.

For his service to national security, Carter has on five occasions been awarded the DOD Distinguished Public Service Medal. He has also received the CJCS Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award, and the Defense Intelligence Medal for his contributions to Intelligence.