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    Defense Head Calls Out Those Who Advocate Isolationism and ‘an American Retreat From Responsibility’

    Defense Head Calls Out Those Who Advocate Isolationism and ‘an American Retreat From Responsibility'

    SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Saturday denounced those who advocate “an American retreat from responsibility” and said sustained U.S. leadership is needed to help keep the world as safe, free and prosperous as possible. He also urged Congress to end the partisan gridlock that has stalled the federal budget and war spending.

    The United States must reject calls to turn away from global interests and become more isolationist, he told an audience of lawmakers, corporate and defense leaders and government officials attending a security conference. Those who “try to pull up the drawbridge,” he said, undermine the security that has led to decades of prosperity.

    In his remarks at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California's Simi Valley, Austin delivered a lengthy defense of U.S. support to in its war against Hamas and to in its struggle to battle 's invasion. He said “the world will only become more dangerous if tyrants and terrorists believe that they can get away with wholesale aggression and mass slaughter.”

    Austin met privately with top lawmakers on the House and Senate Armed Services Committees.

    His message of rejecting isolationism appeared directed at conservative lawmakers who are increasingly opposed to spending on overseas wars and back former President Donald Trump's “America First'” ideology.

    “You'll hear some people try to brand an…

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