‘Mad Dog’ Mattis Issues First in a Decade National Defense Strategy

(Note: the map above is dated, and certainly doesn’t show the secret bases all over Africa.)
Here’s the report by the DoD media spokesman on Mad Dog’s Jan. 19 speech at Johns Hopkins University in Washington.  He says it’s a good fit with Herr Trump’s NSS (most said Mattis helped write that one, a well), but that this is rather an ‘American Strategy’ (a variant on #MAGA, or #MASA, Make Amerika Safe Again™, and even more of bombastic, especially: the warnings.  I’d call it a Declaration of War on any other nation on the planet that dares to defy Total US Imperial Command and Control coupled with paranoid projections onto his/their ‘enemies’.  No multipolar world is allowable, and it  sure has nothing to do with ‘Defense’. The hyperlinked document is a pdf, 14 pages.  I’ve bolded a few passages, and have reproduced portions of his Cliffs Notes.  Yep, it’s long, and you may not want to read it; neither did I, but it’s all stuff we need to know to move forward in any meaningful way.  If ending war happens to be your most important issue, I’d urge you to check into Ballotpedia to see how folks you’re considering voted for…voted on military and FP issues.  There are prizes for those who finish.  ;-)

New Strategy Reclaims ‘An Era of Strategic Purpose’

“Today, America’s military reclaims an era of strategic purpose and we’re alert to the realities of a changing world and attentive to the need to protect our values and the countries that stand with us,” the secretary said. “America’s military protects our way of life and I want to point out it also protects a realm of ideas. It’s not just about protecting geography. This is a defense strategy that will guide our efforts in all realms.”

Threats have changed since the last strategy. There is increasing global volatility and uncertainty with challenges from Russia and China coming to the fore. “Though we will continue to prosecute the campaign against terrorists that we are engaged in today, but great power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary focus of U.S. national security,” the secretary said.

The strategy will provide the American people the military required “to protect our way of life, stand with our allies and live up to our responsibility to pass intact to the next generation those freedoms that all of us enjoy here today,” Mattis said.

The strategy expands the U.S. military’s competitive space, prioritizes preparedness for war, provides clear direction for significant change at the speed of relevance and builds a more lethal force to compete strategically.

Tough Choices

In forming the strategy, officials had to make tough choices, “and we made them based upon a fundamental precept, namely that America can afford survival,” Mattis said.

“We face growing threats from revisionist powers as different as China and Russia are from each other, nations that do seek to create a world consistent with their authoritarian models, pursuing veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic and security decisions,” he said.

The threat from rogue regimes like North Korea and Iran persist. And even though ISIS’s physical caliphate is no more, the group — and other extremist organizations — continues to sow hatred.

“In this time of change, our military is still strong, yet our competitive edge has eroded in every domain of warfare: air, land, sea, space and cyberspace, and it is continuing to erode,” the secretary said.

‘Our Military Will Win Should Diplomacy Fail’

Sixteen years of war, rapid technological change, defense spending caps, and seemingly continuous continuing resolutions “have created an overstretched and under-resourced military,” he said. “Our military’s role is to keep the peace; to keep the peace for one more year, one more month, one more week, one more day; to ensure our diplomats who are working to solve problems do so from a position of strength and giving allies confidence in us. This confidence is underpinned by the assurance that our military will win should diplomacy fail.”

Mattis said the supremacy of American military is not preordained. “It is incumbent upon us to field a more lethal force if our nation is to retain the ability to defend ourselves and what we stand for,” Mattis said. “The defense strategy’s three primary lines of effort will restore our comparative military advantage.”

The strategy commits the department to build a more lethal joint force. It calls for strengthening old alliances and building new ones. “At the same time, we’ll reform our department’s business practices for performance and affordability,” the secretary said.

An enemy will attack any perceived weakness, Mattis said. The American military, therefore, must be able to fight across the spectrum of conflict. “This means that the size and the composition of our force matters,” he said. “The nation must field sufficient capable forces to deter conflict. And if deterrence fails, we must win.”

Mattis added, “To those who would threaten America’s experiment in democracy, they must know: If you challenge us it will be your longest and your worst day. Work with our diplomats: You don’t want to fight the Department of Defense.”

This strategy means nothing if the resources are not in place, Mattis said. “No strategy can long survive without necessary funding and the stable, predictable budgets required to defend America in the modern age,” he said. “Failure to modernize our military risks leaving us with a force that could dominate the last war, but be irrelevant to tomorrow’s security.”

Continuing Resolutions Harm Military Readiness

Mattis added, “Let me be clear. As hard as the last 16 years have been on our military, no enemy in the field has done more to harm the readiness of the U.S. military than the combined impact of the Budget Control Act’s defense spending cuts, worsened … by us operating, nine of the last 10 years, under continuing resolutions, wasting copious amounts of precious taxpayer dollars.”

The military continues to work tirelessly to accomplish the mission with now inadequate and misaligned resources, simply because the Congress cannot maintain regular order, Mattis said.

Under the Constitution, it is Congress that has the authority to raise armies and navies, Mattis said.

“Yet as I stand here this morning, watching the news, as we all are, from Capitol Hill, we’re on the verge of a government shutdown or, at best, yet another debilitating continuing resolution,” he said. “We need Congress back in the driver’s seat of budget decisions, not in the spectator seat of Budget Control Acts’ indiscriminate and automatic cuts. We need a budget and we need budget predictability if we’re to sustain our military’s primacy.”

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)

From the document pdf:

We are facing increased global disorder, characterized by decline in the long-standing rules-based international order—creating a security environment more complex and volatile than any we have experienced in recent memory. Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security.

China is a strategic competitor using predatory economics to intimidate its neighbors while militarizing features in the South China Sea. Russia has violated the borders of nearby nations and pursues veto power over the economic, diplomatic, and security decisions of its neighbors. As well, North Korea’s outlaw actions and reckless rhetoric continue despite United Nation’s censure and sanctions. Iran continues to sow violence and remains the most significant challenge to Middle East stability. Despite the defeat of ISIS’s physical caliphate, threats to stability remain as terrorist groups with long reach continue to murder the innocent and threaten peace more broadly.

In support of the National Security Strategy, the Department of Defense will be prepared to defend the homeland, remain the preeminent military power in the world, ensure the balances of power remain in our favor, and advance an international order that is most conducive to our security and prosperity.

The surest way to prevent war is to be prepared to win one.

Prioritize preparedness for war. Achieving peace through strength requires the Joint Force to deter conflict through preparedness for war. During normal day-to-day operations, the Joint Force will sustainably compete to: deter aggression in three key regions—the Indo-Pacific, Europe, and Middle East; degrade terrorist and WMD threats; and defend U.S. interests from challenges below the level of armed conflict. In wartime, the fully mobilized Joint Force will be capable of: defeating aggression by a major power; deterring opportunistic aggression elsewhere; and disrupting imminent terrorist and WMD threats.’

[wd here: Be strategically predictable, but operationally unpredictable on page 7 is almost funny, but among the many passages of Amerikan Exceptional hysteria is this under Expanding Our Alliances:]

Fortify the Trans-Atlantic NATO Alliance. A strong and free Europe, bound by shared principles of democracy, national sovereignty, and commitment to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty is vital to our security. The alliance will deter Russian adventurism, defeat terrorists who seek to murder innocents, and address the arc of instability building on NATO’s periphery. At the same time, NATO must adapt to remain relevant and fit for our time—in purpose, capability, and responsive, and decision-making. We expect European allies to fulfill their commitments to increase defense and modernization spending to bolster the alliance in the face of our shared security concerns.’


Bill Van Auken at wws.AMPorg has synopsized some of the document, including some of the most eye-blinking themes in his Jan. 20 ‘Pentagon unveils strategy for military confrontation with Russia and China’

“What emerges clearly from the Pentagon document is a vision of US imperialism besieged on all sides and in mortal danger of losing global dominance. It reflects the thinking among the cabal of retired and active-duty generals that dominate the Trump administration’s foreign policy that the past 16 years of unending wars in the Middle East and Central Asia have failed to further US strategic interests, creating a series of debacles, while grinding down the US military.

The thrust of the document is a demand for a vast buildup of the American war machine, which already spends more than the next eight countries combined, including nearly triple the military spending of China and roughly eight times the amount spent by Russia.

The overriding objective in terms of modernization is the buildup of the US “nuclear triad”—Washington’s array of intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and strategic bombers, capable of destroying life on the planet many times over.

It added that “Modernization of the nuclear force includes developing options to counter competitors’ coercive strategies, predicated on the threatened use of nuclear or strategic non-nuclear attacks.” In other words, the US military is prepared to launch a nuclear war in response to a conventional or cyberattack.”

Now this I’d missed in the document:

“Mattis warned that the war plans outlined in the document will require “sustained investment by the American people,” noting that “past generations” had been compelled to make “harsher sacrifices.

These new “sacrifices” will take the form of savage cuts to essential social services, including the gutting of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, with the transfer of resources to the military, the arms industry and the financial oligarchy.”

Van Auken indicated that neither Moscow nor Beijing were amused by the ‘strategy’.  Additionally, formerly ‘out of NATO Tweeter-in-Chief ah…kinda changed his mind, and got peeved that member nations weren’t ponying up their 3.5% of GDP.  So how will the citizens in member and aspiring member nations react to moar war fees and their further immersisation?

Now as far as Herr T’s ‘Defense Strategy’, even at the end of Dec. 2017, Pepe Escobar in his ‘The Petro-Yuan Bombshell noted that the administration was keenly aware of the discussions at the BRICS summit in Xiamen last September, Putin having been quoted about concerns over global financial architectures that don’t due regard to the weight to emerging economies, as he stressed the need to ‘“overcome the excessive domination of a limited number of reserve currencies”.

“That was a clear reference to the US dollar, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of total reserve currency around the world and remains the benchmark determining the price of energy and strategic raw materials.

And that brings us to the unnamed secret at the heart of the NSS; the Russia-China “threat” to the US dollar.

The CIPS/SWIFT face-off

The website of the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS) recently announced the establishment of a yuan-ruble payment system, hinting that similar systems regarding other currencies participating in the New Silk Roads, a.k.a. Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will also be in place in the near future.

The decision follows the establishment by Beijing, in October 2015, of the China International Payments System (CIPS). CIPS has a cooperation agreement with the private, Belgium-based SWIFT international bank clearing system, through which virtually every global transaction must transit.

What matters, in this case, is that Beijing – as well as Moscow – clearly read the writing on the wall when, in 2012, Washington applied pressure on SWIFT; blocked international clearing for every Iranian bank; and froze $100 billion in Iranian assets overseas as well as Tehran’s potential to export oil. In the event Washington might decide to slap sanctions on China, bank clearing though CIPS works as a de facto sanctions-evading mechanism.”

“It ain’t over till the fat (golden) lady sings. When the beginning of the end of the petrodollar system – established by Kissinger in tandem with the House of Saud way back in 1974 – becomes a fact on the ground, all eyes will be focused on the NSS counterpunch.”  (the lengthy rest is here, including many fascinating developments and initiatives of new economic and cooperative alliances.)

In conclusion, several new games are afoot, and Trump’s generals are doing tantrums over it.  Given that he’d already given military control to them, it’s likely that they’re running his FP.  Will there come a day when those who love War (including and especially the D political class are sent packing by a global anti-war, Rabble class economic equality non-violent revolution?  First people must wake up and realize there actually are alternatives.  And as the wsws authors note: some sort of vision for a just anti-capitalistic economic system must come before that day; I’d add anti-Imperialism to the mix.

Now if you’ve managed to finish this long piece, here’s your prize; hope ya love it:  ‘From the Book of Amos, the words went into the dream, Let justice run down like water, righteousness like a mighty stream..’

(cross-posted at caucus99percent)

11 responses to “‘Mad Dog’ Mattis Issues First in a Decade National Defense Strategy

  1. updates:

    he’d also noted: “I’d keep an eye out for those “non-traditional pathways.”

    from nicolas davies at consortium news: ‘A National Defense Strategy of Sowing Global Chaos’ january 23, 2018 hard to choose among the many good things he’s brought, including relevant historical narratives, although i did choose some at c99%, but…i can’t get into the site


    finian cunningham at RT yesterday on mattis’s NDS quoting US analyst randy martin (?): “US-based political analyst Randy Martin says America’s war-driven economy is not only a threat to world security from the inevitable antagonisms it fosters, but also this economy is threatening the collapse of American society from exorbitant waste of resources.
    It is reliably calculated that the US has racked up its national debt by some $6 trillion from wars and military spending over the past 17 years alone. That “war debt” represents nearly one-third of the total US national debt of $19 trillion – making the United States the biggest debtor nation in the world.

    In comments for this column, Martin says: “The US needs to undergo its own version of Perestroika, when the Soviet Union realized during the late 1980s that its economic system was unsustainable.”
    Martin adds: “The US has been addicted to economic militarism for decades. It is destroying our economy and endangering global security by continually seeking out wars and enemies. The bitter irony is that Pentagon chief James Mattis claims to be keeping the homeland safe when in fact it is the Pentagon which poses the greatest threat to American society, not fictitious enemies like Russia and China.”


  2. let them eat Wayne Dyer

    I wonder to an extent if these kinds of docs aren’t the ravings of senectitude & senility.

    yes, they are. a nuclearized senility. keep gramps away from the micro!
    they are useful to remind us what “our” economy & society are all about.

    in other less anomie-inducing news, someone sent me a link to “Taoism for better capitalism: Wayne Dyer reads from ‘I Ching’ & ‘The Art of War'”. “no philosopher yet ever endured toothache,” was my misunderstood reply. “self-help can’t solve social ills” might have been a better answer.

    (yes, I know WD has also passed.)

  3. …hi wd

    …Wanted to thank you for posting the above wd…well seen and said and surely needs to be seen, heard and said by many more USians which seems to be the ongoing failure of too many USians since when? 2016? 2008? 2000? 1996? 1992? 1988? 1980? 1970? 1960? 1950? 1945? 1900? This all does go back at least 120 years.

    … It is very knowable what USians who run USian Empire claim to be and what USian Empire claims to be in matters of USian economic, political and militarism enforced policies and practices. What USian Empire hegemony actually has been, is and seeks to be very much operates along deep lines of overt and covert duplicity, deception, perfidy and wantonly imposed malevolent chaos / destruction / death dealing. This did not just show up with Bush/Cheney in 2002.

    …What Mattis or Pompeo recently spoke about and stated is not in any way new but rather Mattis and Pompeo both now peeling off some layers of long held cover ups / concealments about post 1990 USian Empire half truths, non truths and outright lies. It is knowable USian Empire and bloated components of USian imperial MICC militarism and hydra headed state security alphabet agencies CIA / NSA etc. had deep intentions post 1990 Soviet Union demise to thwart and avoid any actual peace dividend(s) and sanity based $$$ spending / activity reductions of post 1945 USian militarism and USian overt/covert spook agency precepts and practices. Was not going to be allowed as seen with oddly convenient ascendancy of post 1990 ” global terrorism ” threats to replace long cultivated threats of post WW2 Cold War ” global communism ” held and promoted by USian Empire and rabid USian militarists and spooks. See the murky lies and truth and fact misdirections of 9/11/ 2001.

    …Now we hear Mattis / Pompeo talking about a return of USian Empire to USian conjured / imagined / serially ignored truths and facts Russian / Chinese fantasy threats when the real threat to USians since 1990 or 1950 is ongoing perfidious malevolence and malificence of USian Empire’s insane quest for world dominance.

    …Who will stop this USian Empire delusional quest? Those who can and will. Sadly it seems too many USians unwilling / unable or simply not capable to stand up to, denounce and pull down warmongers and warcriminals and human being killers which the likes of Mattis, Obama, Cheney, Albright and the Dulles boys are and were.

    …The dire and deadly consequences of this being so are knowable.

    …Hell Worlds very easy to enter. Not so very easy to exit once in.

    …take care wd…until again

    …sta 🏹

    • mornin’, sta. great to see you, and my apologies for feelin’ rode hard and put up wet by last evening to answer. yep, this administration has sure torn down the curtain of politeness in Imperial military debacles, but only to an extent as to ‘war by other means’. well, that depends on how far they allow erik prince to go in ‘intelligence gathering’ and prosecuting was by his private mercenary armies, doesn’t it?

      but mad dog’s zeroing in on these nations is an interesting development, as he and his homies know that both w/ developing alliances and shredding the petro-dollar…they’re in the catbird’s seat. and that all the filthy lucre and military strategies haven’t won a war for amerika in how long? and now the world knows that this nation is the largest terr’ist nation on the planet. who will stop us? well, those vying for a multi-polar world will, one way or another. but the damage this group can do is incalculable, even if accidental.

      just spent a couple days in davos, and missed a bit of military dreams and ‘nightmares’ that i edited into my diary this a.m. “Hell Worlds very easy to enter. Not so very easy to exit once in.” amen; it’s hard not to get depressed and angry about it at times. best to you too, amigo. thanks for stopping by.

  4. Glen Ford’s latest: DACA Joins the Mad Rush to War

    It is Democratic congressional leadership — not Donald Trump and his mad generals — that has been the driving force in this year’s military spending insanity. Back in July, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi pressured her party to back a defense authorization $57.4 billion bigger than the Pentagon requested. Only a minority of Democratic House members supported the measure, but a majority of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) followed Pelosi’s lead — including all five of the newest members of the Black Caucus, elected in 2016. By inflating the war budget even beyond the Pentagon’s demands, these Pelosi-Schumer-CBC Democrats ensured that what remains of the social safety net will be slashed into oblivion by bipartisan forces of austerity in future Congresses.

    • woof, a great additions, thanks, greyson smythe. i’d quibble bit with his contention here: That’s why, measured in military dollars, the Democratic leadership is more warlike than the Trump administration. Not trusting Trump to keep the pressure on Moscow, Beijing and any other “threat” to U.S. hegemony, the bipartisan political servants of empire flood the Pentagon with money and poison the political discourse with Russiagate.’

      given that trump has effectively ceded his administration’s FP and war prosecution to all the generals in cabinet, putting russia in their cross-hairs argues against his math.

      also, as to using DACA as a bargaining chip, the D team is quite aware that the latino population demographics are to outpace boss man whitey by 2045. as in: new Ds if they can manage it. when i offered the same over yonder at c99%, a commenter brought me a link saying it was already so in california. game, set, match thinking?

      but the Ds have long been even more pro-war, pro-military, yes? under the coer of ‘R2P, of course…. exporting ‘democracy’, and all that rot.

      • …hello wd…back again…;-)

        …Nancy Pelosi has been for sale and selling out for a long time which is plain and simple fact and truth. But then what have any of the DTeam so called ” leaders ” of R vs. D junk politics sell outs, liars and charlatans up on Cap Hill or in the WH done for common USians since 1992 other than sell out, tell lies and be crooked and corrupt ? SellOut Dems using DACA scare / barter politics to lard up Pentagon WarKillDestroy Inc. by high multiples of billion $$$ ?

        …This is the same Nancy Pelosi who back in 2006 was telling Big Lies whoppers that USians needed to give CapHill to the DTeam in 2006 to stop Bush and Cheney ? That turned out to be just a big pile of DTeam steaming horseshit. But then in 2008 DTeam Black Jesus Obama was given the pole position to be DTeam POTUS and secure a full DTeam run CapHill and WH going in to 2009. Black Jesus Obama being the slicked up shit seller he was and is ran against Bush/Cheney but then once in the Oval Office went with No Looking Back At Bush and Cheney while Bush and Cheney happily skated away out of WashDC. Only skimming the surface about looking at DTeam BS politics that been going down since 2006. Won’t dive or delve into the putrid sewer pools of ObamaAHIPCare sell out knowable pay to play politics and outcomes from 2009 to 2012 to 2016. Or what Black Jesus Obama The Nobel Peace Prize Fraud and the PelosiDems proceeded to willingly inflict on Libya and all Libyans in 2011. Not to forget Syria and Russia. Fact and truth is Black Jesus Obama wanted to gut SS, do TPP and stood on and for more $$$ funding, expanding and The Telling of Big Lies Told concealment(s) of USian Empire / MICC / CIA / NSA war crimes, dirty deeds, chaos and mayhem sowing, torture and death drone dealing. Fact. Truth.

        …DACA sellout politics for AIPAC ( the Real Hand of TelAviv in USian WashDC politics but let’s go after Russia and Putin ) approved and backed open ended USian Empire MICC spending? Nancy Pelosi approves of the added tens of billions. Thanx Nancy.

        …R vs. D junk politics being what they are have taken common USians to where we are here in 2018. The Clintons vs. Trump and all the R vs. D junk politics of 2016 produced a whole years worth of fact and truth debased Russia/Putin smear politics during 2017 which Nancy Pelosi very much repeatedly endorsed. Thanx Nancy.

        …One must wonder how willfully ignorant diehard Dumbshit Zealot Dems don’t or won’t see what Obama, the Clintons and the likes of Pelosi and the CapHill sellout Junk Politics Dems are / have been?

        …Covering up Billy and Hilly and talking up E. Warren, B. Sanders or Oprah going into 2018 or 2020 is the DTeam’s way forward ?


        …sta 🏹

        • bless your heart, and welcome back. trying to look at and answer comments at c99% as well is taxing me beyond my energy level (laura ingram video?) ay yi yi. but for now in hopes of a bit of sleep, perchance to dream, not nightmare…i’m off to rest my weary bod and mind. be back after a rest and a few shots of java, darlin’ arrow.

        • sorry it took me so long to return; i kinda got stuck answering comments at c99% on my davos diary. but yes, such junk politics, and someone over yonder just gave me a video and podcast by ‘niko’ of the bern revolution. i begged off cuz: not interested, and too long as well.

          nope no Ds will save SS, medicare, medicaid, nor did any rant against the state (WI?) that requires work ahead of medicaid. wth? thank you for your facts and truths, my friend. best to you and your partner in every way, on every day.

  5. Dynamite article, Wedye. I just read the Report yesterday for the first time. I’m gonna catch up with those bastards sooner or later!

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