Mattis: US Needs to Be Ready to ‘Confront’ Russia

Accuses Kremlin of Plotting to 'Break' NATO

Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee in his nomination hearing as Secretary of Defense, Gen. James Mattis pushed for the US to remove spending caps and increase military, arguing the nation needs to be ready to “confront Russia” militarily.

Mattis largely appeared to reject President-elect Donald Trump’s talk of normalization with Russia, insisting the US needs to “recognize reality” and accept that there are a “decreasing number of areas” in which the US can even theoretically cooperate with Russia.

Mattis went on to argue that Russia is trying to “break” NATO, and that the US needs to build up military power in Eastern Europe to reassure NATO members in the area. Mattis argued NATO remained necessary because the US has had so few succcesses engaging with Russia since Yalta.

Gen. Mattis did not offer specifics, beyond increasing spending, which seems materially the same policy that the Pentagon has had for years. That Mattis followed State Dept. nominee Rex Tillerson in laying out a much more hostile position toward Russia than the one Trump has suggested is noteworthy, however.

Tillerson insisted he had not discussed Russia at all with Trump, and while Mattis didn’t mention that one way or the other, it seems that there are some dramatic disagreements between the policy Trump has laid out of normalization, and the one his cabinet is putting forward, which seems to continue the march toward the new Cold War.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • Don

    Everybody Trump picks has said something that is contrary to Trump’s supposed agenda he babbled on about to get himself elected. This is just another example.

    And so, Raimondo’s rant is all redundant and beside the poine because there’s just no way that Trum intends to follow through on his campaign promises. There’s the only argument needed for an answer to Raimondo’s piece. What in hell difference does any of it make if Trump was just shooting his mouth off to get elected?

    And when are Trump’s supporters going to just come to terms with the fact that Trump made it all up. Considering that if we went back to before the election, we would have found virtually nobody on this site actually saying that they supported Trump. Why would it be hard for them to turn thumbs down on Trump now?

    And also, how is Trump going to reverse himself on friendly relations with Russia without allowing it to look like a complete flip-flop. He’s obviously going to have to get on with it because he’s getting himself in hot water with the intelligence. He’s singlehandedly ripping himself another as-hole all by himself!

    luv from Canada.

    • GeorgyOrwell

      And so, Raimondo’s rant is all redundant and beside the point because there’s just no way that Trump intends to follow through on his campaign promises. There’s the only argument needed for an answer to Raimondo’s piece. What in hell difference does any of it make if Trump was just shooting his mouth off to get elected?
      —-
      Nobody really knows what this will all look like in six months or a year. I reserve judgement. I am more than prepared to pile on the criticis if Trump deserves it or defend and support him in areas that I agree.

      I think extremes of support or opposition are premature at the moment.

      I was for Bernie! Thank God HRC was defeated.

      • John Wells

        Bernie? Bernie who?

      • Don

        You aren’t going to get a chance to support Trump on foreign relations because he has no intention of following through on his improving relations with Russia. But you can drag your feet all you like on coming down against the miserable faker.

  • Idiotland

    As The Who once said, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

    • eric

      Tillerson and Mattis are not the boss I think Kelly Anna will always have the final word

  • GeorgyOrwell

    This guy Mattis who I know little about and am slowly learning more, it is my understanding that:

    #1 he is against torture (because it does not work, not it is illegal or immoral). …..but still!

    #2 he claims to be for a two state solution

    #3 he says US must abide by the agreement with Iran (or was that Tillerson?)

    So this guy may be a mixed bag, unlike a dirt bag like Neo-Con Carter

  • TellTheTruth-2

    This kind of INSANITY explains why he is called MAD DOG. Here is a google link to “mad dog mattis quotes” … (right click) … https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=mad+dog+mattis+quotes

  • Mad Dog wants war say it isn’t so! Oct 27, 2016 The Debate – NATO Eastward Expansion

    NATO says it is going ahead with its plans to deploy thousands of troops and military hardware to three Baltic States and Poland that all border Russia. The military alliance claims that the measure is a response to a Russia’s military build-up and increased activity around NATO’s borders.

    https://youtu.be/2icKhPE1svM?list=PLNB-69ClKQNW4ONtmnRdn0VKc4IIDliyO

    • TellTheTruth-2

      Thank goodness we can get “HONEST” reports from sites like RT, Russia Insider, and PressTV … (right click) … http://www.presstv.ir/

      • I judge each individual video and article with my personal knowledge on each topic. I have gathered and have read the world for over twelve years. Just keeping real wether folks understand this or not.

        “Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.” Joseph Stalin

        • TellTheTruth-2

          Exactly .. when the 2nd plane hit the 2nd tower on 911, my Sixth Sense said, “Don’t jump to conclusions, study!” And, 15 years later, I can explain 911 by telling people to Google “911 DOV ZAKHEIM” and spend a couple hours reading some of the links.

          “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” The Bible