Secretary Mattis Wants to Stay, Aligns with President Trump on Defense
America’s relationship with NKorea remains diplomatic, but the military must be ready in case the situation breaks down, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said Monday.
In his Keynote address to the Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting in Washington, DC, Secretary Mattis urged lawmakers to reach an agreement to fund the Pentagon beyond the $549-B limit imposed by mandated caps
“I am among the majority in the country that believes our nation can afford survival, and I want the Congress back in the driver’s seat of budgetary decisions, not in the spectator’s seat of automatic cuts,” Sec. Mattis said.
“I have great confidence in the US Congress, but I have no confidence in automatic, mathematical budget cuts.”
“It is right now a diplomatically, economic-sanctions-buttressed effort to try and turn NKorea off of this path,” he said. “What does the future hold? Neither you nor I can say.”
“There is one thing the US Army can do, and that is you have to be ready to ensure we have military options that our President can deploy if needed,” Sec. Mattis said. “The international community has spoken, but that means the US Army stands ready.”
Sec. Mattis stressed loyalty to America’s allies, saying he “had the honor of fighting many times for America,” though never in a purely American force structure.
“From NATO to Europe to the Pacific, our message to our allies is ‘we are with you,'” he said.
Secretary Mattis is aligned with our Commander-in-Chief, now waiting for Secretary Tillerson’s affirmation.