Small Wars Journal

Mattis on Strategy

Mattis on Strategy by Bill Gertz – Washington Times

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the recently completed U.S. defense strategy, the first in 10 years, will be used to guide the revamping of the military during the Trump administration.

“Without a sound strategy, the most brilliant generals, the most well-equipped troops, the most high-tech equipment, fine tactics — none of that works unless your strategy, your framework for what you’re doing, can actually tie ways and means together,” Mr. Mattis said in a recent speech.

The retired Marine Corps general said the new strategy identifies China and Russia as the major threats facing the country and will be used as a rationale for more stable defense funding after years of cutbacks. In formulating the strategy, Pentagon strategists categorized security threats and recognized the prime danger as coming from state actors like China and Russia, not from terrorist groups.

“If you look at China, the way it is shredding trust in the South China Sea, the way it’s using predatory economics; if you look at Russia, in trying to get a veto authority over the economic, security and diplomatic decisions of the countries around its periphery and mucking around in other people’s elections — those are various forms of attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state system,” Mr. Mattis said.

“That’s the bottom line,” Mr. Mattis said.

The defense secretary said one of the highest priorities is establishing a workable relationship with China to avoid a conflict. The new strategy will “allow us to move forward from a position of strength,” he said…

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