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Mattis Explains How The US Would Respond If North Korea Launched A Nuclear Missile Attack
Secretary of Defense James Mattis detailed how the U.S. would respond to a North Korea nuclear missile attack in an appearance at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Oct. 30.
"What happens if somebody knocks on the door of the oval office and says, 'Mr. President, they've launched,'" Sen. Jim Risch asked.
Mattis replied: "Our ballistic missile defense forces at sea and in Alaska and California... the various radars would be feeding in and they would do what they're designed to do as we make every effort to take them out."
The U.S. has recently tested its missile defense systems and made improvements, but the threat from a North Korea intercontinental ballistic missile remains a serious question as experts maintain the U.S. wouldn't fare well against a salvo of missiles or missiles with decoys or countermeasures.
But the bulk of U.S. deterrence has never rested in missile defense, but rather in offensive capability.
"The response, if that's what you're referring to, would, of course, depend on the president," said Mattis, explaining the president would see a "wide array" of options that include co-operation with U.S. allies.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, right, and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, testify before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on "The Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Administration Perspective" on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Oct. 30, 2017.Photo via Associated Press
"Defenses will go. The president will be woken up or whatever, but our commands are... we rehearse this routinely," Mattis said, apparently not wanting to divulge any possibly sensitive information.
"Some judgment would be made over whether a necessary and proportionate response is required," said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
But neither Tillerson or Mattis would categorically rule out a nuclear first strike on North Korea. Both made statements to the effect that if the U.S. knew a North Korean nuclear attack on the U.S. was imminent, that President Donald Trump reserves the right to pre-empt that attack with a launch of his own.
“The fact is that no president, Republican or Democrat, has ever forsworn the first strike capability. That has served us for 70 years,” said Tillerson.
More from Business Insider:
- A tunnel collapsed at a North Korean nuclear test site, reportedly killing 200 people
- With all eyes on North Korea, Beijing looks ready to deploy fighter jets in the South China Sea
- Inside the secretive intelligence agency that keeps track of the world's ICBMs
- That time a drunk Richard Nixon tried to nuke North Korea
- 3 U.S. carriers are now in the Pacific amid tensions with North Korea — here's what they bring with them
Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials are warning soldiers and military families to be aware of scammers using the Exchange's logo.
In a news release Wednesday, Exchange officials said scammers using the name "Exchange Inc." have "fooled" soldiers and airmen to broker the sale of used cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and boat engines.
KABUL (Reuters) - The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility on Sunday for a suicide blast at a wedding reception in Afghanistan that killed 63 people, underlining the dangers the country faces even if the Taliban agrees a pact with the United States.
The Saturday night attack came as the Taliban and the United States try to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan's U.S.-backed government.
Islamic State fighters, who first appeared in Afghanistan in 2014 and have since made inroads in the east and north, are not involved in the talks. They are battling government and U.S.-led international forces and the Taliban.
The group, in a statement on the messaging website Telegram, claimed responsibility for the attack at a west Kabul wedding hall in a minority Shi'ite neighborhood, saying its bomber had been able to infiltrate the reception and detonate his explosives in the crowd of "infidels".
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In their first visit to the United States since 2008, the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows" will perform an aerial demonstration next week over the Hudson River, according to an Air Force news release. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels demonstration teams will also be part of the show.
Frances and Efrain Santiago, natives of Puerto Rico, wanted to show their support last month for protesters back home seeking to oust the island's governor.
The couple flew the flag of Puerto Rico on the garage of their Kissimmee home. It ticked off the homeowners association.
Someone from the Rolling Hills Estates Homeowners Association left a letter at their home, citing a "flag violation" and warning: "Please rectify the listed violation or you may incur a fine."
Frances Santiago, 38, an Army veteran, demanded to know why.
A West Point graduate received a waiver from the U.S. Army to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, and play in the NFL while serving as an active-duty soldier.
The waiver for 2nd Lt. Brett Toth was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, who said that Toth signed a three-year deal with the Eagles. Toth graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 2018.