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Mattis To Military: 'Be Ready' For What Trump Decides To Do About North Korea
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told the annual convention of the Association of the US Army on Monday that they should "be ready" with military options should diplomacy fail with North Korea.
When asked what the US military could do to make war with North Korea less likely, Mattis didn't sugarcoat it or offer false hope.
"There's one thing the US Army can do, and that is, you have got to be ready to ensure that we have military options that our president can employ, if needed," said Mattis.
Mattis said the US is currently pursuing a "diplomatically led effort" that has seen the UN Security Council twice vote unanimously to sanction North Korea, but that military backing is still needed.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told the annual convention of the Association of the US Army on Monday that they should "be ready" with military options should diplomacy fail with North Korea.Photo via KCNA/Associated Press
"The international community has spoken, but that means the US Army must stand ready," Mattis said.
While Mattis told the troops to stand ready, President Donald Trump tweeted that "policy didn't work" with North Korea, reiterating his assertions that diplomacy has failed time and time again under various presidents.
But US Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley put the threat of war in perspective during a press conference on the sidelines of the US Army convention, saying there are "no risk-free options" in dealing with North Korea.
"It would be horrible, there's no question about it," Milley said of a war with North Korea. "But so would an intercontinental ballistic missile striking Los Angeles or New York City. That would be equally horrible," Milley said, according to CNN.
"There is a timeline on this" Milley said, acknowledging that North Korea's missile threat has rapidly progressed and will likely soon progress to the point where even Washington DC is within range.
"It's not an indefinite amount of time. And there will be decisions made, there's no question about it."
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects the defence detachment on Jangjae Islet and the Hero Defence Detachment on Mu Islet located in the southernmost part of the waters off the southwest front, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 5, 2017.Photo via KCNA/Business Insider
Milley made it clear that although the military stands ready to fight even a horrific fight, it's up to the commander in chief to decide when and if they fight.
Though Trump often threatens force, he has remained vague about what he'll actually do.
On Thursday evening, during an impromptu dinner with senior military officials at the White House, Trump suggested the meeting may represent "the calm before the storm."
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The command chief of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, was removed from his position last month after his chain of command received evidence he disrespected his subordinates.
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
The "suck it up and drive on" mentality permeated our years in the U.S. military and often led us to delay getting both physical and mental health care. As veterans, we now understand that engaging in effective care enables us not just to survive but to thrive. Crucially, the path to mental wellness, like any serious journey, isn't accomplished in a day — and just because you need additional or recurring mental health care doesn't mean your initial treatment failed.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has called on the security alliance's allies to maintain and strengthen their "unity," saying the organization is "the only guarantor of European and transatlantic security."
Stoltenberg told reporters on November 19 that NATO "has only grown stronger over the last 70 years" despite "differences" among the allies on issues such as trade, climate, the Iran nuclear deal, and the situation in northeastern Syria.
He was speaking at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels on the eve of a NATO foreign ministers meeting aimed at finalizing preparations for next month's summit in London.
WASHINGTON — More than $35 million of the roughly $400 million in aid to Ukraine that President Donald Trump delayed, sparking the impeachment inquiry, has not been released to the country, according to a Pentagon spending document obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
Instead, the defense funding for Ukraine remains in U.S. accounts, according to the document. It's not clear why the money hasn't been released, and members of Congress are demanding answers.