In the 15 months since Defense Secretary James N. Mattis assumed office, the Defense Department has made steady progress, he told the Senate Appropriations committee panel on defense on Capitol Hill today.
The secretary was joined by Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during a hearing on DoD’s portion of President Donald J. Trump’s budget request for fiscal year 2019.
Mattis noted that yesterday the president said the White House will withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — also known as the Iran nuclear deal — terminating U.S. participation and re-imposing sanctions on the Iranian regime. “We will continue to work alongside our allies and partners to ensure that Iran can never acquire a nuclear weapon and will work with others to address the range of Iran’s malign influence,” he said.
The secretary also emphasized the recently published 2018 National Defense Strategy, which he said “provides clear direction of America’s military to restore its competitive edge in an era of re-emerging long-term great power competition. The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review followed, and calls for the U.S. military to provide a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent that is modern, robust, flexible, resilient, ready and appropriately tailored to deter 21st century threats and reassure…