Before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the House Committee on Oversight and Reform
October 29, 2019
Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member, thank you for the opportunity to address the Committees concerning the activities relating to Ukraine and my role in the events under investigation.
I have dedicated my entire professional life to the United States of America. For more than two decades, it has been my honor to serve as an officer in the United States Army. As an infantry officer, I served multiple overseas tours, including South Korea and Germany, and a deployment to Iraq for combat operations. In Iraq, I was wounded in an IED attack and awarded a Purple Heart.
Colonel Alexander S. Vindman is expected to deliver this statement on Tuesday
Since 2008, I have been a Foreign Area Officer specializing in Eurasia. In this role, I have served in the United States' embassies in Kiev, Ukraine and Moscow, Russia. In Washington, D.C., I was a politico-military affairs officer for Russia for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs where I authored the principle strategy for managing competition with Russia. In July 2018, I was asked to serve at the National Security Council.
The privilege of serving my country is not only rooted in my military service, but also in my personal history. I sit here, as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army, an immigrant. My family fled the Soviet Union when I was three and a half years old. Upon arriving in New York City in 1979, my father worked multiple jobs to support us, all the while learning English at night. He stressed to us the importance of fully integrating into our adopted country. For many years, life was quite difficult. In spite of our challenging beginnings, my family worked to build its own American dream. I have a deep appreciation for American values and ideals and the power of freedom. I am a patriot, and it is my sacred duty and honor to advance and defend OUR country, irrespective of party or politics.
For over twenty years as an active duty United States military officer and diplomat, I have served this country in a nonpartisan manner, and have done so with the utmost respect and professionalism for both Republican and Democratic administrations.
Before recounting my recollection of various events under investigation, I want to clarify a few issues. I am appearing today voluntarily pursuant to a subpoena and will answer all questions to the best of my recollection.
I want the Committees to know I am not the whistleblower who brought this issue to the CIA and the Committees' attention. I do not know who the whistleblower is and I would not feel comfortable to speculate as to the identity of the whistleblower.
Also, as I will detail herein, I did convey certain concerns internally to National Security officials in accordance with my decades of experience and training, sense of duty, and obligation to operate within the chain of command. As an active duty military officer, the command structure is extremely important to me. On many occasions I have been told I should express my views and share my concerns with my chain of command and proper authorities. I believe that any good military officer should and would do the same, thus providing his or her best advice to leadership.
Furthermore, in performing my coordination role as a Director on the National Security Council, I provided readouts of relevant meetings and communications to a very small group of properly cleared national security counterparts with a relevant need-to-know.
My Service on the National Security Council
When I joined the White House's National Security Council ("NSC"), I reported to Dr. Fiona Hill, who in turn reported to John Bolton, the National Security Advisor. My role at the NSC includes developing, coordinating, and executing plans and policies to manage the full range of diplomatic, informational, military, and economic national security issues for the countries in my portfolio, which includes Ukraine.
In my position, I coordinate with a superb cohort of inter-agency partners. I regularly prepare internal memoranda, talking points, and other materials for the National Security Advisor and senior staff.
Most of my interactions relate to national security issues and are therefore especially sensitive. I would urge the Committees to carefully balance the need for information against the impact that disclosure would have on our foreign policy and national security.
I have never had direct contact or communications with the President.
The Geopolitical Importance of Ukraine
Since 2008, Russia has manifested an overtly aggressive foreign policy, leveraging military power and employing hybrid warfare to achieve its objectives of regional hegemony and global influence. Absent a deterrent to dissuade Russia from such aggression, there is an increased risk of further confrontations with the West. In this situation, a strong and independent Ukraine is critical to U.S. national security interests because Ukraine is