tv Defense Secretary Mattis Remarks at Army Association Meeting CSPAN October 10, 2017 12:31am-1:08am EDT
the nation's capital. listen to the washington journal live each morning beginning of heaven a.m. eastern -- 7:00 a.m. eastern. get the latest from congress, the administration and important events from across the nation. c-span radio is available in washington on 90.1 fm, on our website c-span.org or by downloading the free is radio at. at 20 years, where you hear history unfold daily. -- the c-span radio app. mattis spokejames in front of the army association of the unit is an washington focusing his remarks on praising the dedication of soldiers and families and then answered a few questions from the audience. this is 30 minutes. >> to introduce our keynote speaker for the 2017 annual meeting of the is the mission of united states army.
you know him, he is well known us, internationally, and i had the privilege of serving alongside him. that he ask me to define him with one word, i would simply choose patriot. that is what he is. at his very core. and gentlemen, please welcome the secretary of defense, the honorable jim mattis. [applause] >> thank you.
i can find no place near washington dc that i find a place so much like home than being here with you. those very concerned days after 9/11 in afghanistan, we served together for many years after that as well. sir, you for coming back it is a pleasure to serve with you once again. , we have searched together and we know each other. you have thers, dna of iwo jima in your veins you bleed white and blue. aly,eant major d besides deciding to go on the obstacle course this morning, the army 10 minor yesterday, i think it was just your warm up for this morning. in the tradition of army ncos where you lead from upfront -- cos,tradition of army n
where you lead from upfront, thank you for that as well. i know she will sign up for another 40 years, i guarantee you. [laughter] but it was also something to remind us about the priorities of secretary mccarthy, general milly, have made very clear in their time in office, which is right in. we will talk more about that. i will be very pleased to take some questions at the end of this. can close thei gap between the secretary of defense and all of you out there for a little bit. i recognize that whatever rank we wear today or we once war, in this room -- only once wore, we're all part of the beautiful experiment that we call america and protecting our people and our constitution. we are equal and that is one thing the american forces have
always had in their ranks, a sense of co-equal devotion. i am honored to be here with you, you who hold the line in this world. i want to mention the veterans, in my talks with soldiers on the front lines, i just returned from afghanistan a few days ago -- the only thing they would ever fear, i think, is letting you down and the legacy you have bequeathed to them. they know, based on what you have been through, that they can do the job, that there can be nothing worse than what you faced in your most difficult days. -- especially for me, unless on a personal level, thank you to the vietnam veterans who stayed in, as we heard this morning, stayed in the army and rebuild it. they were the veterans who raised me in a marine corps and made me the marine i was. so to all veterans and especially the vietnam veterans, you have my deepest affection
for what you have committed to our country. [applause] thank you. thank you very much. winner andl of honor to all of you have been decorated and recognized for valor in combat, i want to say to you, in great deeds, something out by. regardless of where you learned the respect of your fellow warriors, your courage echoes today down to our ranks. to our gold star family's who join us here today, as general chamberlain of the 20th maine said, years after the civil war, he prayed daily to be worthy of your sacrifice. thank you. [applause] to be worthy of your sacrifice. thank you. [applause] as your secretary of defense, i am honored to join you, i am grateful to serve once again
alongside soldiers of the army, the most trusted army on earth. to serve once again amongst the disciplined, high-spirited and capable soldiers whose character i have seen rise in every occasion in the worst possible circumstances. soldiers who are always out there best when the times are at their worst. soldiers who general george washington would be proud of for 242 years now, you have set the standard. you are the soldier descendents of rugged continentals left muddy footprints at valley forge. you who from lexington to korenga, generation after generation you havel carried the flags and the patriot's fire in your belly. this experiment that we call america, and is meant to determine if the government of the people, by the people and for the people can long survive.
army, united in the commitment that stands as a model for our fellow citizens of what americans who stand united can do. ranks today our field with high-quality patriot them all volunteers, and again, i am very proud to serve with you. the international situation is more complex and demanded -- the most demanding that i have seen in all measures of service over four decades. terrorist continue to conduct murder and mayhem in the middle besides -- despite accelerated losses. into europe for the first time since world war ii, we have seen national borders changed by the force of arms as one country proved willing to ignore international law, exercise a
veto authority over its neighbor's right to make decisions in the economic, diplomatic and security domain. in the pacific, we have seen north korean provocations burgeoning regional and global peace despite universal condemnation by the united nations. thatis is the reality faces our department of defense and our like-minded allies. we must have militaries fit for their purpose and their time in these days of emerging challenges. for these challenges include new domains of conflict, in space and cyberspace. and in ways that involve deniable attacks even on our democratic process. there department of defense is adaptive, because we do not want to be dominant and at the same time irrelevant. i offer this problem statement for what misguided our efforts.
how do we maintain a safe and effective nuclear deterrent so that these weapons are never used and our nonproliferation efforts can be recharged? maintain a to decisive conventional force at the same time as the nuclear deterrent? one that includes race, services -- space and cyberspace capabilities to deter war decisively if conflict occurs? and third, we must at the same time maintain a regular capability so that we can find a cross the spectrum of conflict. problem statement, how to maintain a safe and secure nuclear deterrent and maintain a decisive conventional force that can also find irregular warfare. our department has 3 lines of effort to address these issues. first, everything when must do -- everything we must do must contribute to the increased lethality of our military. we must never lose sight of the fact that we have no god-given
right to victory on the battlefield. secretary mccarthy and general millie are examining every personnel policy, our training time, organization, and more to ensure they contribute to make us the most lethal joint force in the world. ? >even as our competitive edge over our adversaries decreases due to budgetary confusion in this town and the budget caps. i am among the majority in this country that believe our nation can afford survival and i want , in the budget seat of budget decisions. [applause] i have great confidence in the u.s. congress but i have no , confidence in automatic mathematical budget cuts. second, a line of effort is we are following the example of the greatest generation coming home
from the tragedy of world war ii , who looked around and said, "what a crummy world." we are part of its, whether or not we like it, and we are going to do something about it. and in that spirit they built , alliances and partnerships. in the same spirit today, we are strengthening alliances in building new partnerships, 39ther it be nato, the nations standing together in afghanistan, or the indo pacific region. secretary of state tillerson's iseat isis called mission only one example of what this looks like in practice. 69 nations banded together plus 4 international organizations, the arab league, nato, interpol and others working in concert to defeat isis.
would also stand with our traditional allies as well as holding new coalitions as we work together to defend our valleys. to our allies in this room today, i will tell you i had the , honor of fighting many times for america. i never once fought in an americancan or solely formation, it was always alongside allies. i will tell you from nato in europe to the pacific, the message to our allies is we are with you. [applause] under deputy secretary of defense shanahan, our new deputy secretary is full of vigor. under him, lies most of the continued effort for line of effort number 3, the keen direction that he is helping provide to secretary mccarthy and his fellow appointees to rework business practices to gain full benefit from every dollar spent on defense.
we are taking aggressive action to reform the way we do business and to gain and hold the trust of the congress and the american people that we are responsible stewards of the money allocated to us. and that it translates directly every dollar into the defense of our country and what we stand for. in all of this, the army's importance is absolute fundamental. -- absolutely fundamental. a historian once wrote you may , fly over a nation forever. you may bond it, analyze it -- atomi it,ze it -- wipe it clean from life but if , you desire to defend it, you desire to protect it, you desire to keep it for civilization. you must to do this on the ground away the roman legions did by putting your young men in the mud. i would only modify it today by saying by putting your young men and women in the mud. [applause]
this is why the army is so critical to our nation's security. i have by now grown rather remote from so many of you who ramparts, r --an-- ran the ramparts, those of you who have passed political rhetoric to rally to our flag and the gauge of a high quality, all volunteer force. while i no longer have the opportunity to get to know you personally, i do know your character. you can get out of the army and make more money. you can get out of the army and see more of your family's peer -- your families. you could do any number of things, that you have the habit of putting others first in putting your country first. at battlefield cemetery, the statue of the loan soldier ne alone soldier -- a lo
soldier stands out and looks out over his fallen comrades. he is a private, and he is nicknamed old isaac. it is inscribed on the pillar he stands above, not for themselves, but for their country. whether you spend a few years in your youth in the u.s. army, that is and gentlemen, or grow gray in the service of your 11 nation or serve a few rest , assured you will always look back on the sacrifices of war and the demands of sergeants, unpredictable deployments as the best years of your life, deployments as the best years of your lives. we stand physically decide you every day. nonetheless, we join your fellow awe ofs, and humbled your willingness to sign a blank check, payable to the american people, a blank check payable with your lives to defend our revolutionary ideas enshrined in declaration of independence,
and our constitution, putting freedom above all else. if you would like to see -- if you would like to know where i see modern war trending, i ask that you listen to his remarks years ago. if you want a reminder of wars that are unrelenting in nature, reread the book "this kind of war." would like to see why we should supplement our approach to control, read "rules of the game." in terms of strategy, read "the and most strategy." importantly, when it comes to your willing and just to you, willing and magnificent soldiers, i say that you need --y follow the armycreed the army create that we saw on the screen and cited.
physically, i salute generalsmillie -- generals initiatives.ost's i am reminded that general schwarzkopf in the years after vietnam served under a korean war veteran, and he was a battalion commander, a brigade commander who insisted on tougher soldiers, knowing what he had faced in the korean war. mentally, i want you to enhance your war fighting skills, assuming every week in the army is a week to get better at integrating all army and joint efforts to become more tactically cunning. so body and mind must be met with the spirit. spiritually, ladies and gentlemen, we need our soldiers to build your own and your comrades in arms' resilience to take combat test of your stride in the most primitive environment on earth. let me close with a reminder to today's troops through a
veterans eyes. i want go back to world war ii. the greatest generation. today, as we sit here, there is a 91-year-old world war ii combat veteran from maine. the veteran is mr. richard lincoln and he is now living in , a veteran's home in maine. he and his brothers all fought in world war ii, and he is the last surviving one. mr. lincoln has a remarkable story. as a 17-year-old from a very small town in maine, of less than 1000 people, standing just 5 foot 5 inches tall, i wondered as i read that was that the effect of malnutrition during the depression? mr. lincoln served as a first scout in the 88th infantry division, and in an import -- and a battle which as we all and mosta grueling
important amphibious assault in the italian camp. and assault which permitted the allied capture of rome. he repeatedly risked his life on the front lines to identify enemy artillery, regularly and during fire and never shrinking from enormous dangers. the 88th became the first draft ee division to enter a combat zone in world war ii. in 344 days of combat, the 80th lost 2298 menion killed in action, and 9225 men were wounded. the blue devils as they were called, proved with the rigorous teamwork,sound comparable leadership and sound determination, that they were more than capable of fighting well against well-trained, well-equipped hardened our
enemies -- hardened enemies. when the allies liberated rome on june 4, everyone wanted to be the first into rome. the all draft 88th game the first division to enter the city. although overshadowed by the normandy invasion two days later, you all know the capture of rome was a significant victory to the allies. for his heroic service in that campaign, mr. lincoln was awarded the bronze star medal. and on june 4, 1944, the day when he and his fellow soldiers from the 88th infantry division entered rome, richard lincoln turned 18 years old. mr. lincoln was and is today, a , humble, ernest, self-effacing man, grateful to be an american. he knows what it felt like to be shot at from very close range every day for months since being a scout was about as close as -- close to the front lines as it gets. today he wonders how he survived , when so many comrades did not. he says he thinks it might have
then because -- i was short -- which is a wise point. i never envied tall men on the battlefield myself. [laughter] by would tell you that mr. lincoln is one of those who created the legacy of the american army, the most trusted, most ethical, most capable army in the world. one that is built on physically tough and tactically competent officers and shoulders at the top of their game. from the bulge to the delta and the deserts that this generation of soldiers have faced, when trouble looms, the army has always stood and delivered. so to all the veterans in the room you set an uncompromising , bar that everyone of us on duty today must live up to. we know we will never face something worse than what you did, maintaining your dignity and honor throughout. to every veteran in this room, to every mr.
lincoln who has hailed from maine to hawaii, from alaska to puerto rico, thank you for standing by the red, white, and blue. and ladies and gentlemen, thank you again for having me here. may i take your questions? [applause] >> thank you very much, mr. secretary. we took the liberty of collecting questions from our members and others and appreciate you taking time to answer just a few. the first one is, we just saw a program that highlighted how the army expanded and transformed quickly 100 years ago to meet the demands of world war i. what insights from world war i
seemed most relevant to you as the army faces challenges today? general mattis: i appreciate the presentation earlier because whenever you look back at history, you realize that while technology may change, we really face nothing new under the sun. we often times come up with good ideas and old books and reading history. i think the message i was thinking as i watched the presentation was the need for readiness. there was a comrade who was a younger general, the name of joh abizaid, he was in the joint f in those days, he said to me if , you were sitting in my chair , and you said where are we going to fight in the next 10 years? not one of us would have guessed. i think the royal navy will sail right up the river outside my window and burn this town to the ground. you say that is a long time ago.
1910, howhink about many would have said we were going to be in europe in the next 10 years and the u.s. army strung out from ports all across the indian fighting west, and never forecast that we will be wearing gas macs with airplanes dropping bombs and charging machine guns and barbed wire. so the need for readiness must also ensure that we have a shock absorber held inside the army. i, wheref world war the first advance and offensive we made went horribly wrong because troops couldn't get to , the front lines in the right order, and there was a traffic jam, it is a reminder we have to be brilliant in the basics of blocking and tackling. because from bataan peninsula to caseserine pass, to task force
smith, we know too well the cost of not being ready. i think right now, what we want to do is be so ready and be very much aware that we fight the way we come. that everybody in the world wants to deal with secretary tillerson at the department of state, not the department of defense and the united states army. [applause] >> mr. secretary you mentioned , congress in your remarks. this question is related to that, how can the american public and industry, and i will add the association of the united states army and like-minded associations, how can those groups influence congress to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to provide for the common defense? >> ladies and gentlemen, i think what is probably most important right now, is we lay out the problem in compelling and
persuasive terms. go back to einstein's point many years ago when asked how he would compose his thoughts if he was given one hour to save the world, and he said i would spend 55 minutes defining the problem, and i would save the world in five minutes. there are times when most of us -- those of us who wear the uniform's can be rightly condemned for being overly conservative, wanting more insurance and more boats and planes and guns and tanks. and i understand that, as general macarthur said when he was chief of staff of the army in those days when our country was having difficulty times economically before world war ii and he was trying to convince , the u.s. congress to spend an adequate amount of money on readiness. that the u.s. army would be ready, he made the point that
day that we have to be willing , to do this because it is the surest way to deter war. also a time and a cost aspect of this, and i think the more we can explain that we have the time right now to prepare for war as the best way , to prevent war. but should conflict breakout, to get money later, will not be good enough because it won't last have the time at that we point. -- we will not have the time at that we all understand this. point. the more we explain persuasively and objectively what is the situation in this increasingly complex security environments , that many of our most legendary statesmen of alive today from dr. kissinger to george schultz to sam nunn to all the others who have looked at this over decades , dr. william perry former
defense, senator cowan, former secretary of defense -- if we can lay this out in terms, i believe in the u.s. congress. i believe in them 100%, but we have to lay this out in such a way that in a democracy, we bring the american people with us. and that starts at the u.s. congress. so we need everyone to make certain we are laying out the problem in a manner that leaves no doubt about the needs of all we are asking for, in order to ensure that america's army is at the top of its game. [applause] >> thank you. >> if you have time for two more. several questions about acquisition. what can be done to enhance responsiveness to war fighter needs and what can be done to
incentivize collaboration among the services, other government allies?, and our general sec. mattis: having spoken to senator mcarthur, he is a process under way to take the best aspects of fast equipping and institutionalizing it as the way we do business in the u.s. army. the department like this? the most important thing is one, communications and two, the actual organization of the department. at congress's, we are going to technology,itions, and research into research and engineering and acquisition and sustainment on the other. the intention is we move faster
in research and engineering. i lived out in silicon valley for the three years i was retired in and i am seen what industry is capable of from boston to texas to michigan. we have to open the communication with them much more robustly. lawyers.e i don't want my daughter to marry one, but i love lawyers, ok? lawyers give advice and i want lawyers to keep us strictly within the ethical and moral codes we must live by when we handle the government and taxpayer money. but i also want to remember that corporations are made up of americans, too, and i would open communications. no favoritism, no violations of law, no violation of ethics. i want no longer the gulf
between us that denies us the business and advances in weaponry out there right now. advantaged.es are eroded asage is being they move more swiftly. going back to secretary mccarthy and secretary shanahan and their organization to move more rapidly. as much as process pours all of us to tears, if we do not get this acquisition process right, we can throw the best people in the world at it and nine times out of 10, the best process will win. i brought people in from it industry. and acquisition and technology logistics person overseeing the breaking apart into what directed.
congressman shanahan, he has seen it at its best in a highly competitive industry. we have people who know what they are doing. it is time to roll up our sleeves and get on with it. applause] >> last one, sir. unsurprisingly about korea. probably not are going to reveal to us the intricate details of your korea strategy, but what can the u.s. military do to lessen the likelihood of conflict in the korean peninsula? great question. let me talk about korea for a minute because i know it is on all of our minds. ladies and gentlemen, it is right now eight diplomatically-led economically sanctioned and buttressed effort
to try to turn north korea off this path. what does the future hold? neither you nor i can say. there is one thing the u.s. army can do. that is, you have got to be ready to ensure we have military options that our president can employee if needed. we currently are at eight diplomatically-led effort and how many times have you seen the un security council vote unanimously, now twice in a row to impose stronger sanctions on north korea. remember, the security council has countries like france, russia, china, the united states. unanimously on this. the international community has spoken. that means the u.s. army must stand ready. so if you are ready, that is
your duty at this point in time. donow the army will always it. thank you for having me here. have a great conference. to our allies, thank you for being here. [applause] ♪ c-span's washington journal, live it every day with news and and policy issues that impact you. coming up, the priorities the white house seeks from congress in exchange for allowing dreamers to remain in the u.s. then, a discussion on the deadly mass shooting and las vegas and
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