Terrorism no longer the military's top priority, Mattis says

President Donald Trump points at a sign that reads

Terrorism no longer the military's top priority, Mattis says

"We will continue to prosecute the campaign against terrorists, but great power competition - not terrorism - is now the primary focus of USA national security", Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in prepared remarks at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington.

"What we're going to do is restore America's economic viability because no nation in history has maintained its military power that was not economically viable and did not keep itself in order", Mattis said Friday during a speech in which he laid out the new national defense strategy.

"This shift, Pentagon planners say, will require a "more lethal, resilient, and rapidly innovating" military that can regain the overwhelming advantage the United States once held over those rivals and lesser adversaries such as Iran and North Korea", military website Defense One reported.

The strategy indicates the Trump administration is taking a hard line against Russian Federation and China, even as President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: "We should be like Canada" in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: "Sheet metal and garbage" everywhere in Haiti MORE has called for better relations with the two countries.

The Pentagon chief suggested USA military processes must be "ally-friendly" and willing to be influenced by America's loyal friends. And even though ISIS's physical caliphate is no more, the group - and other extremist organizations - continues to sow hatred.

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The strategy also emphasized the importance of US allies and partners, while at the same time asking them to contribute more to their mutual security.

"We will be willing to be persuaded by them, recognizing that not all good ideas come from the country with the most aircraft carriers", Mattis said. For much of Trump's first year, Mattis and leaders like Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford had to reassure NATO leaders that the US would live up to its treaty obligations to defend the other alliance members. It'll impact obviously our medical facilities.

He said it would be advisable for potential enemies to "work with our diplomats".

He took the opportunity to press home the point that allies need to contribute their equitable share of resources, which allows the United States and allies "to amass the greatest possible strength", noting that the United States has carried a disproportionate share of the defense burden in the post-World War II era.

The Defense Department will allocate funds for developing autonomous military technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning, to gain competitive military advantages, the strategy added. "The willingness of rivals to abandon aggression will depend on their perception of USA strength and the vitality of our alliances and partnerships".

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"A strong and free Europe, bound by shared principles of democracy, national sovereignty, and commitment to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty is vital to our security", the document said.

"We need a budget and we need budget predictability if we're to sustain our military's primacy", he said. "We must transition to a culture of performance where results and accountability matter". Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan predicted that would be the case last month, saying the Pentagon focused on other priorities. It has been 10 years since the last defense strategy was released.

The defense secretary saved some of his toughest words for lawmakers as the government approaches a shutdown at midnight, saying the military needs Congress "back in the driver's seat" and making budget decisions.

Trump has repeatedly stressed the importance of providing the United States military with adequate funding to build up its capabilities.

"That we have performed well is a credit to our wonderful and loyal troops, but loyalty must be a two-way street", he said.

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