Hagel receives first Afghanistan war council briefing

Newly installed Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sat in his first weekly meeting of U.S. defense and military leaders of the Afghanistan war, in the Pentagon on Friday, to go over the current state of ongoing operations there.

Hagel heard briefings from his top war commander, Gen. Joseph Dunford, from Kabul; Gen. Jim Mattis, head of Central Command, speaking from Tampa; and other leaders, according to senior defense officials.

The morning briefing, which discussed specifics the officials would not divulge publicly, follows Hagel’s broader overview briefing of the Afghan war held Thursday in the Pentagon by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Peter Lavoy and Lt. Gen. Terry Wolf, who is the J5, or director of strategic plans and policy on the Joint Staff.

Participants in the Friday secure video teleconference, known as a SVTC (pronounced: siv-itz), included Dunford; Mattis; Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter; Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, director of the Joint Staff, standing in for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey; Pentagon policy chief Jim Miller, undersecretary of defense for policy; Mike Vickers, undersecretary of defense for intelligence, and others.

U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g. Matthew Stroup