Tags: secretary | defense | james mattis | military budget

D-Sec Mattis Urges Expansion of $549B Military Budget Limit

(C-SPAN)

By    |   Monday, 09 Oct 2017 04:13 PM

America's relationship with North Korea remains a diplomatic one, 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, Mattis also urged lawmakers to reach an agreement to fund the Pentagon beyond the $549 billion limit imposed by mandated caps, Stars and Stripes reported.

"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," Mattis said.

"I have great confidence in the U.S. Congress, but I have no confidence in automatic, mathematical budget cuts."

Military readiness is paramount amid tensions as North Korea escalates its nuclear weapons program, Mattis argued during his speech, Defense News reported.

"It is right now a diplomatically, economic-sanctions-buttressed effort to try and turn North Korea off of this path," he said. "What does the future hold? Neither you nor I can say."

He added, to applause, "What we want to do is be so ready and be very much aware that we fight the way we come, that everybody in the world wants to deal with Secretary [Rex] Tillerson and the Department of State, not the Department of Defense and the United States Army.

"There is one thing the U.S. Army can do, and that is you have to be ready to ensure we have military options that our president can deploy if needed," Mattis said. "The international community has spoken, but that means the U.S. Army must stand ready."

"So if you're ready, that's your duty at this point and time, and I know the Army will always do its duty."

Mattis also 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, Defense News reported.

"From NATO to Europe to the Pacific, our message to our allies is 'we are with you,'" he said.

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In his keynote address to the Association of the United States Army's annual meeting in Washington, Secretary of Defense James Mattis also urged lawmakers to reach an agreement to fund the Pentagon beyond the $549 billion limit imposed by mandated caps, Stars and Stripes reported.
secretary, defense, james mattis, military budget
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2017-13-09
Monday, 09 Oct 2017 04:13 PM
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