On Friday, the Secretary of Defense refused to be late for his scheduled appearance and got out of the motorcade to walk the rest of the way to his destination.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis was traveling to Johns Hopkins University to discuss the most recent version of the National Defense Strategy, the Independent Journal Review reported.
When it looked like driving all the way to his destination was going to make him late, Mattis decided to walk the last 15 minutes to arrive on time.
In the new National Defense Strategy, the Department of Defense is moving to focus on “restoring America’s competitive military advantage to deter Russia and China from challenging the United States, its allies or seeking to overturn the international order that has served so well since the end of World War II,” according to a Department of Defense article.
The deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development Elbridge A. Colby told White House reporters “this is not a strategy of confrontation, but it is a strategy that recognizes the reality of competition.”
“The National Defense Strategy seeks to implement the pillars of the National Security Strategy: peace through strength, the affirmation of America’s international role, the U.S. alliance and partnership structure and the necessity to build military advantage to maintain key regional balances of power,” Colby said.
This is the first new National Defense Strategy in over a decade and builds on President Donald Trump’s National Security Strategy.
In December, Trump unveiled a new strategy for national security aimed at fulfilling his campaign promise to put America first. The specific points of the strategy were detailed in 55-page document released to the public.
“Our government’s first duty is to its people, to our citizens — to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values,” Trump said in a statement that accompanied the document.
According to the new strategy, there are four “vital national interests” that must be protected — protection of the homeland via border control and immigration reform, promotion of American prosperity by rejuvenating the economy, “peace through strength” via the rebuilding of the U.S. military, and the advancement of American influence on the global stage.
The document specifically referenced China and Russia as nations that “challenge American power, influence,and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity.”
These countries, according to the new national security strategy, “are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.”
The new National Defense Strategy takes a similar approach to China and Russia because “The two nations have spent the last 25 years studying way to deny America its greatest military advantage: the ability to deploy forces anywhere in the world and sustain them,” according to Colby.
According to the Department of Defense article, the new strategy will not be taken lightly, and Mattis will fully implement it.
“I think if anybody knows Secretary Mattis or looks at his history, he’s not inclined to publish documents or give guidance that he doesn’t actually intend to execute,” Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford said during an interview in Brussels. “I can assure you that one of the things that gives me confidence the National Defense Strategy will affect our behavior is Secretary Mattis’ ownership of the National Defense Strategy, and his commitment to actually lead the U.S. military in a direction that is supportive of that National Defense Strategy.”
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