The Defense Department’s best budget predictability in more than a decade shows that Congress and the executive branch are aligned in terms of the threats to the nation and current and future military readiness, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said today.
“We are aligning that money on current readiness, but also with future readiness,” the secretary told reporters at the Pentagon. “You will see more money going into research and engineering about future protection and future readiness.”
The National Defense Strategy says America faces an ever more lethal and disruptive battlefield -- combined across domains and conducted at increasing speed and reach, from close combat, throughout overseas theaters and reaching to the homeland.
“It’s not the Pentagon’s National Defense Strategy, its America’s National Defense Strategy,” the secretary said, adding that it’s contingent on him and his team talking to people and making certain they have their ears open to criticism and the ideas of the people.
Expulsion of Russian Diplomats
Mattis also talked about governments in Europe, the United States and beyond expelling Russian diplomats in response to an attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain.
“NATO’s expulsion of Russian diplomats showed the alliance was still relevant,” Mattis told reporters. Russia has the potential to be a partner with Europe, but Russia has chosen to seek a different relationship with the NATO nations, he said.
Russia’s actions have been a threat to democracy, seeking to break the Western alliance, Mattis said, not only with its recent attack on the Russian spy and his daughter, but also with its 2014 annexation of Crimea, military intervention in eastern Ukraine, and its interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
A soldier provides security during an airborne operation at Juliet Drop Zone in Pordenone, Italy, Jan. 18, 2018. Army photo by Lt. Col. John Hall