Mattis to Army: ‘Stand ready’ if North Korea diplomacy fails

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis speaks during the opening ceremony of the AUSA annual meeting at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. on Monday. (Mike Morones)

 

America’s relationship with North Korea remains a diplomatic one, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said Monday, but he urged members of the military to be prepared in case the situation breaks down.

Mattis also used his keynote speech at the annual AUSA conference in Washington, D.C., to thank allies who have stood with the U.S. through the ages.

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

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Mattis Is Punting the Military Buildup to 2019

In accord with the president’s budget, Secretary of Defense James Mattis told committee members that the military buildup will start in fiscal year 2019. (Photo: Ken Cedeno/Zuma Press/Newscom)

 

Secretary of Defense James Mattis has news for Congress and for the nation: The military buildup will have to wait until next year.

Mattis delivered that message in a back-to-back series of appearances before Congress, one of them taking place in a rare prime-time hearing on Monday night. Continue reading

Mattis: ‘Shocked’ by Poor State of Military Readiness

 

Secretary of Defense James Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee on Monday that he was “shocked” at the poor state of the military’s readiness.

Mattis appeared before the committee to answer questions regarding the proposed budget for the military, CBS reports. He told lawmakers that one of the top problems facing the Pentagon is military readiness, which the retired general said has worsened since he left the Marine Corps in 2013. Continue reading

Mattis: U.S. Could ‘Moderate’ NATO Support if Allies Don’t Pay More

James Mattis / AP

 

Secretary of Defense James Mattis told NATO allies on Wednesday that they need to contribute more money to the alliance’s common defense if they do not want to see the United States “moderate its commitment.” Continue reading

Leon Panetta: We’ve Entered ‘A Much More Dangerous Chapter’ of War on Terror

 

‘Matter of Time’ Before Attack Directed at United States

President Obama’s former Secretary of Defense and Director of the CIA Leon Panetta said he believes there is an imminent threat of a terrorist attack to the United States. Continue reading

Hagel’s Fate Was Sealed Long Ago

With only two years left in power and nothing to lose, the Obama administration needs all opposition cleared to permanently transform the country. By the time 2017 comes around, you won’t recognize it.

 

To the surprise of many, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel resigned his post Monday, apparently under heavy pressure. According to some accounts, this development has been brewing for weeks. In reality, it was presaged nearly two years ago in the former Army sergeant and Nebraska Senator’s farcical confirmation hearings before his one-time colleagues.

Before leaving for my present position last August, I spent six years at the Atlantic Council, where Hagel served ably as chairman until taking over the Defense Department. His predecessor, General Jim Jones, had been picked to join Obama’s “team of rivals” as National Security Advisor. Both men were highly accomplished public servants, widely respected by Republicans and Democrats alike for their competence, intellect, and integrity. Indeed, Jones may very well have been selected as National Security Advisor or another prominent role had John McCain prevailed in 2008. (Interestingly, Hagel was followed by Jon Huntsman, the erstwhile Republican governor or Utah and presidential candidate who’d alienated his base by serving as Obama’s ambassador to China.) Continue reading

HAGEL: The World Is ‘Damn Dangerous’ And Our Army Is Not Ready

 

In an exclusive interview with Charlie Rose at the Pentagon yesterday, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel warned of the unprecedented challenges facing the United States military role on the global stage.

“The world is dangerous. It is damn dangerous,” Hagel said.

“We live in this imperfect, dynamic, changing, threatening, dangerous, interconnected world that we have never seen before, that we have never seen anything like this before,” Hagel said. “And so policies, yes, are predicated on historical knowledge and cultural awareness and all that goes into that. Have we made mistakes over a series of many years? Yeah, I think we have. I think anybody would agree to that. But that’s not the issue. That’s not the responsibility I have now or the president has or John Kerry. Our responsibilities now are to find ways that we can make it better, find strategies and policies that work within a world of uncontrollables.” Continue reading

Report: Pentagon Has No Plan For Troops, Military Assets

The Pentagon has failed to produce a legally mandated policy report that outlines to Congress its upcoming plans for overseas troop deployments and the allocation of military hardware, according to an oversight report.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is required by law to inform Congress about its plans and strategy for the military. However, officials have failed to issue any policy and it could be months before a concrete plan emerges, according to Department of Defense officials who spoke to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The Pentagon’s failure to craft a “warfighter support” plan for America’s military operations means that Congress cannot provide the required oversight over these critical plans.

As of mid-April, the DoD “has not established a policy or submitted an implementation plan to congressional committees as mandated by public law,” according to a newly issued GAO report.

The Pentagon says that the major policy document will not be ready until at least November 15, according to one “senior DoD official” who spoke to the GAO. Continue reading

Hagel’s No-Nukes “Global Zero” — They Cheat, We Don’t

Treaties are like pie crusts, they are made to be broken” -Vladimir Lenin

The United States is willfully committing national suicide.

Generally it means that even the severely reduced number of warheads deployed in our arsenal would not — if they were needed in a crisis — be available for use. If that in fact took place — with countries hostile to the US having arsenals in excess of the US force — it would probably be in irresistible invitation to them to attack.

Former Senator Chuck Hagel, nominated to be Secretary of Defense, is also a signatory of what is known as the “Global Zero” plan. It calls for the United States and Russia to begin comprehensive nuclear arms negotiations in early 2013 to achieve zero nuclear weapons worldwide by 2030 in four phases.

The first phase would be a reduction of the US nuclear arsenal to 1,000 weapons from its current level — some number slightly less than 5,000 warheads. While the US has now deployed 1,550 strategic nuclear weapons, the new total would include stored and reserve weapons, as well as warheads considered tactical and deployed in Europe, and therefore not regulated by current arms control agreements. By way of comparison, the former head of the US Strategic Command laid out in a summer 2012 essay the comparable Russian arsenal, which he estimated was probably in excess of 10,000 nuclear warheads — a number considerably higher than many current and previous estimates of the Russian nuclear arsenal, and nearly twice that of the United States. Continue reading