Tags: Ryan Zinke | Praises | James Mattis | Right Guy | Defense

Ex-SEAL Rep. Ryan Zinke: Mattis Is 'Right Guy' for Defense

(MSNBC/"Morning Joe")

By    |   Monday, 12 Dec 2016 10:23 AM

Rep. Ryan Zinke praised retired Marine Gen. James Mattis as President-elect Donald Trump's choice for secretary of defense on Monday saying he's "the right guy for this right time." 

"He's tough. He's a reluctant warrior in that he's the last person that wants to go to war," the Montana Republican, who is also a former team leader of SEAL Team 6, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "He's seen it. But if he goes to war, he goes to war to win. The men respect him."

Mattis will face some challenges with the bureaucracy of the Department of Defense, he continued, and he'll also "face three challenges: one is to shore up front line capability, make sure we have the right equipment, right training.

"Second, we have to shore up our allies and restore trust. Lastly, the Department of Defense itself — he's about to enter the bureaucracy of the DoD.

"We've become too top heavy. There's been other great men before him that have tried to undo the bureaucracy — [Robert] Gates and [Donald] Rumsfeld. It's going to take a warrior to cut through it."

Bureaucracy in the Department of Defense needs to "tighten up and streamline," Zinke said. He pointed out that sequestration "was never intended to be a long-term policy."

Sequestration is a budget provision that imposes across-the-board cuts unless Congress and the White House agree on cuts that focus on the budget deficit. It poses a key challenge to military readiness, according to the Department of Defense.

American troops believe they need more support, he continued, and there's "a lot of frustration on the front line about how they don't think they have the right rules of engagement to win.

"They feel like the bureaucracy, even troops in contact, whether they can actually get support directly is a question of how many layers of bureaucracy you have got to cut through. He's going to have to make sure that when we fight, we fight (with) the right equipment."

Equipment in the field also needs improvement and the U.S.'s primary tank used in combat needs to be replaced. "The Russian tank now outdistances us," he said.

"China and Russia are able to turn around from blueprint to fueling their major weapons systems in three to five years."

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Rep. Ryan Zinke praised retired Marine Gen. James Mattis as President-elect Donald Trump's choice for secretary of defense on Monday saying he's "the right guy for this right time."
Ryan Zinke, Praises, James Mattis, Right Guy, Defense
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2016-23-12
Monday, 12 Dec 2016 10:23 AM
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