Department of Defense (DoD)

Mattis Discusses U.S. Concerns About North Korean, Russian Actions

You are subscribed to News Articles for U.S. Department of Defense. This information has recently been updated, and is now available.

Mattis Discusses U.S. Concerns About North Korean, Russian Actions
03/31/2017 05:33 PM CDT

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis shakes hands with British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon at arrival ceremony at the Defense Ministry in London, March 31, 2017. DoD photo by Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Mattis Discusses U.S. Concerns About North Korean, Russian Actions

By Lisa Ferdinando

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

LONDON, March 31, 2017 — North Korea is moving in a “very reckless manner” with its nuclear and missile programs, while Russian activities in Afghanistan are also of concern to the United States, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said here today as he discussed cooperation and security concerns with his British counterpart.

The U.S. is working through the United Nations and with allies to address the North Korean nuclear and missile threat, Mattis said in a joint press conference with British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon.

“This is a threat of both rhetoric and growing capability and we will be working with the international community to address this,” Mattis said.

The undertaking includes diplomatic moves with “those that we might be able to enlist in this effort to get North Korea under control,” according to the secretary, who was on his first trip to the United Kingdom as defense secretary.

“Right now, it appears to be going in a very reckless manner in what its conduct is portraying for the future,” Mattis said of North Korea’s government. “That’s got to be stopped.”

Afghanistan Developments

Mattis also expressed concern about Russian activity in Afghanistan.

“We have seen Russian activity vis-à-vis the Taliban,” he told reporters.

“I’m not willing to say at this point if that has manifested into weapons and that sort of thing, but certainly what they’re up to there in light of their other activities gives us concern,” Mattis said.

The United States and Russia no longer have a cooperative engagement, but the U.S. would be interested in engaging with Russia on a political or diplomatic level, Mattis explained.

“Right now, Russia is choosing to be a strategic competitor,” Mattis said. “We’re finding that we can only have very modest expectations at this point in areas that we can cooperate with Russia, contrary to how we were just 10 years ago [or] five years ago.”

Additionally, Mattis said he and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are still reviewing recommendations on strategy in Afghanistan.

“We have not made a decision, yet,” Mattis said, explaining he and the chairman have received the advice of Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and NATO‘s Resolute Support mission.

“I have not put a recommendation forward to our president at this time,” Mattis said.

Defeating ISIS in Syria

Regarding Syria, Mattis said the focus is on the defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

“We’re working this one day at a time, as we throw [ISIS] on to the back foot,” he said, noting the terrorists have intentions of striking targets outside of Syria.

“That’s an immediate threat that goes to Europe,” he said. “We’re going to have to keep them on their back foot, and that’s what we’re concentrating [on] at this point.”

(Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD)

Related Biographies

Jim Mattis
Jim Mattis became the 26th Secretary of Defense on January 20, 2017.A native of Richland,

Related Links

Special Report: Travels With Jim Mattis
Secretary of Defense Flickr

Bookmark and Share

Department of Defense (DoD)

U.S. Department of Defense Lead Photos Update

You are subscribed to Lead Photos for U.S. Department of Defense. This information has recently been updated, and is now available.

Gala Remarks
03/29/2017 07:00 PM CDT

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks at the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation gala in New York City, March 30, 2017. Dunford presented the 2017 Commandant’s Leadership Award to retired Gen. Peter Pace, the 16th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro

Bookmark and Share

Department of Defense (DoD)

Stratcom Commander Makes Case for Modernizing Nuclear Triad

You are subscribed to News Articles for U.S. Department of Defense. This information has recently been updated, and is now available.

Stratcom Commander Makes Case for Modernizing Nuclear Triad
03/31/2017 04:45 PM CDT

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, and members of his staff depart a 37th Helicopter Squadron UH-1N Huey near a missile alert facility on the F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, missile complex, February 22, 2017. Hyten toured the facility, giving him insight into the responsibilities of the airmen executing the nation’s nuclear deterrence mission. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Stratcom Commander Makes Case for Modernizing Nuclear Triad

By Jim Garamone

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

ROSSLYN, Va., March 31, 2017 — Nuclear capabilities are the bedrock of American defense and will remain so, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command said at the Military Reporters and Editors annual meeting here today.

Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten said the United States has about the right numbers of nuclear weapons, but they need to be modernized.

Saluting Stratcom’s People

Hyten saluted the sacrifices of the service members under his command who stand watch as they maintain America’s nuclear deterrent and other missions.

“Deterrence will always be cheaper than war, and there is nothing more expensive than losing a war,” the general said, quoting from Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein.

Hyten said it will take roughly 6 percent of the defense budget to modernize the country’s nuclear arsenal. Right now, nuclear arms take about 3.5 percent of the budget.

“We have to increase [spending] somewhere between 2.5 and 3 percent,” he said. “That leaves 94 percent of our defense budget to do the things we have to. When you think of the survival of our nation — and I think that is the most important reason we have a military … the backstop of all of that is the nuclear enterprise.”

Nuclear Deterrent: Backbone of Homeland Defense

The general said it would irresponsible to not fund nuclear modernization, as the nuclear deterrent is the backbone of homeland defense.

Hyten said people often ask him if it is possible to eliminate nuclear weapons. They want to know if he can imagine a world without nukes. “And the answer is yes, I can imagine a world without nuclear weapons,” he said. “In fact, I know what a world without nuclear weapons looks like, because we had a world without nuclear weapons until 1945.”

He asked the reporters to imagine what the world was like in the six years preceding the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. “In those six years, the world in conflict killed somewhere between 60 million and 80 million people,” he said. “That’s about 33,000 people a day, a million people a month.”

As horrible as the world is today, he said, there is nothing remotely resembling this situation. The world has seen bloody conflicts — Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom were awful, but nowhere near the level of carnage the world had experienced, he said.

What changed in 1945, Hyten said, was the reality of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons, he added, prevented the major power conflict that had plagued the world in previous centuries.

“They prevented the kind of wanton destruction that you saw in World War II, and somehow the world has stayed that way,” the general said.

Necessity to Modernize Nation’s Nuclear Triad

Hyten said nuclear weapons undergird the motto of Strategic Command and its predecessor organization, the Strategic Air Command: Peace is our profession.

Deterrence has changed in the 21st century, Hyten said, and the command must modernize the nuclear triad and the command-and-control systems that are part of them.

“The submarines are the most survivable element of it; the ICBMs are the most ready; the bombers are the most flexible,” he said. “When you put those pieces together, it gives our nation the ability to withstand any attack and respond if we are attacked, which means we won’t be attacked.”

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)

Related Videos

General Speaks on Service Members’ Sacrifices to Protect Nation General Speaks on Service Members’ Sacrifices to Protect Nation
Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, speaks about the sacrifices service members have made to protect the nation during the Military Reporters and Editors Association conference, March 31, 2017.
General Discusses Impact of Nuclear Weapons on Global Affairs General Discusses Impact of Nuclear Weapons on Global Affairs
Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, discusses the impact nuclear weapons have had on the world during the Military Reporters and Editors Association conference, March 31, 2017.

Bookmark and Share

Department of Defense (DoD)

Special Report: Month of the Military Child

You are subscribed to News Articles for U.S. Department of Defense. This information has recently been updated, and is now available.

Special Report: Month of the Military Child

Special Report: Month of the Military Child

Military children make up a very special part of our nation’s population. Although young, these brave sons and daughters stand in steadfast support of their military parents. To honor their unique contributions and sacrifices on behalf of our country, each April is designated the Month of the Military Child. Click to learn more in the Defense.gov special report: Month of the Military Child.

Bookmark and Share

Defense Department News Through Facebook on the DoD News Facebook page, you can post comments and share news, photos and videos on the DoD News Facebook page. Go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/DoD-News/808154485884259 or search for DoD News at Facebook.com.

Update your subscriptions, modify your password or e-mail address, or stop subscriptions at any time by clicking on your ‘User Profile’ page at https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDOD/subscriber/edit?preferences=true#tab1. You will need to use your email address to log in. If you have questions or problems with the subscription service, please visit subscriberhelp.govdelivery.com.

Have another inquiry? Visit the online FAQ at http://www.defense.gov/landing/questions.aspx for up-to-date information.

Get the help you, your family, and fellow service members need, when you need it. Visit www.WarriorCare.mil to learn more.

Check out the National Resource Directory at www.nationalresourcedirectory.org, a new web-based resource for wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans, their families, families of the fallen and those who support them from the Departments of Defense, Labor, and Veterans Affairs.

This service is provided to you at no charge by U.S. Department of Defense. Visit us on the web at http://www.defense.gov/.

Updates from the U.S. Department of Defense

Department of Defense (DoD)

Special Report: Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention

You are subscribed to News Articles for U.S. Department of Defense. This information has recently been updated, and is now available.

Special Report: Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention

Special Report: Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention

The Defense Department is taking a stand against sexual assault in the military in an effort to maintain the well-being of U.S. service members and their families. Click here to check out Defense.gov’s special report: Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention, which includes information about resources dedicated to preventing and appropriately responding to this crime.

Bookmark and Share

Defense Department News Through Facebook on the DoD News Facebook page, you can post comments and share news, photos and videos on the DoD News Facebook page. Go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/DoD-News/808154485884259 or search for DoD News at Facebook.com.

Update your subscriptions, modify your password or e-mail address, or stop subscriptions at any time by clicking on your ‘User Profile’ page at https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDOD/subscriber/edit?preferences=true#tab1. You will need to use your email address to log in. If you have questions or problems with the subscription service, please visit subscriberhelp.govdelivery.com.

Have another inquiry? Visit the online FAQ at http://www.defense.gov/landing/questions.aspx for up-to-date information.

Get the help you, your family, and fellow service members need, when you need it. Visit www.WarriorCare.mil to learn more.

Check out the National Resource Directory at www.nationalresourcedirectory.org, a new web-based resource for wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans, their families, families of the fallen and those who support them from the Departments of Defense, Labor, and Veterans Affairs.

This service is provided to you at no charge by U.S. Department of Defense. Visit us on the web at http://www.defense.gov/.

Updates from the U.S. Department of Defense