NY Post -- Defense Secretary James Mattis said Monday he’s “shocked” by the decline in US military readiness and placed the blame squarely on Congress.
Mattis scolded lawmakers on Capitol Hill for failing to pass military budgets and for imposing automatic spending cuts known as sequestration that have caused “severe” damage.
“I retired from military service three months after sequestration took effect,” Mattis, a former Marine Corps general who retired in 2013, said. “Four years later, I’ve returned to the department and I have been shocked by what I’ve seen about our readiness to fight.”
Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, Mattis told members of Congress they’ve caused “harm” by their lack of leadership.
“While nothing can compare to the heartache caused by the loss of our troops during these wars, no enemy in the field has done more to harm the combat readiness of our military than sequestration,” Mattis said. “We have only sustained our ability to meet America’s commitments abroad because our troops have stoically shouldered a much greater burden.”
Mattis is asking Congress to pass President Trump’s 2018 spending request of $639.1 billion, to end sequestration and to allow the military to appropriately plan by passing a budget on time.
Blog Author's Comments: Many people in Congress are simply apprehensive or afraid to take a stand and do what is right, because what is most important to them - their main concern - is to be reelected. Meanwhile the men and women in our military are risking their lives to defend and carry out the policies set by Congress. Eight years of Obama and not enough pushback by the members of the Republican Congress have left us in a very disturbing position. And who would know better what America needs militarily, than former retired Marine General and DEFSEC James Mattis?
Defense Secretary Mattis now knows what our military situation is and clearly sees what has happened and what needs to be accomplished. During Obama's time in office the Republicans were too busy trying to evaluate how to look like they were the opposition party while giving Obama almost everything he wanted. And we also cannot forget about the $1.7 billion that Obama gave Iran. We could have used it to spend on our defense instead of theirs. We dodged a serious bullet when President Trump defeated Hillary Clinton. And we continue to learn just how very serious that bullet was every day.
At this point in time, the major reason the GOP is apparently not ready with at least, basic plans of their own to not only expand and strengthen the military, but have a healthcare plan to replace the Affordable Care Act and other major items that are on Trump's agenda, is because they were sure Clinton would win the presidency, and the Republican members of Congress could coast and pretend to fight back against the Democrats.
If Hillary had been able to nominate Supreme Court Justices it would have set the country back at least a generation and perhaps forever. So, now is the time for the Republican members of Congress to work together and move the legislation to President Trump's desk so that he can sign it into law. There is so much that needs to happen prior to the 2018 mid-term elections and the presidential election of 2020, if the Republicans are serious about maintaining control of the government and doing what is right for the country.