Budget Allows Forces to Restore Competitive Edge, DoD Leaders Tell House

The budget agreement hammered out in Congress will allow the U.S. military to restore its competitive edge during a time of renewed great power competition, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said today before the House Armed Services Committee. 

The secretary testified alongside Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and both men emphasized the budget agreement covering fiscal years 2018 and 2019 will give the department needed stability to implement the National Defense Strategy.

“The U.S. military has a competitive advantage over any potential adversary today,” Dunford said. “I am confident we can defend the homeland, meet our alliance commitments and prevail in any conflict.”

Three Lines of Effort

As DoD moves forward, it is pursuing three overarching lines of effort, Mattis said. The first is to build a more lethal force. The second is to strengthen alliances and build new ones, and third, the department will reform business practices for better performance and affordability.

Building a more lethal force is at the heart of everything the department does, the secretary said. “All our department’s policies, expenditures and training must contribute to the lethality of our military,” Mattis told the representatives. “We cannot expect success fighting tomorrow’s conflicts with yesterday’s thinking, yesterday’s weapons or yesterday’s…

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