Candidate for the post of Minister of defence of the USA James Mattis said that Russia is trying to split NATO and the States should do more to counter “Russian aggression”, the Washington Post reported. In Congress Thursday, 12 January, held a hearing regarding its approval to the post of Minister of defense.
According to Mattis, the United States should demonstrate strong support for European allies, but the specific actions that he’s going to do on this account not called. On the question whether there is enough strong, the US army at the moment to counter the threat from Russia and other opponents, Mattis unequivocally replied: “No.”
Mattis promised Congress that if they support his candidacy, he will work to ensure that the American army continued to be able to deal with threats. “My priorities as defense Minister will be to strengthen the combat readiness, strengthening our alliances with diplomatic partners, and conducting business reforms in the Ministry of defence”, — quotes the edition of his words.
Reuters adds that Mattis called NATO, perhaps the most successful military Alliance in history and stated that he would like to, the United States supported “the most strong relationship” with the Alliance. He also said that he had already discussed with President-elect Donald trump the importance of NATO, adding that he is open to such discussions.
“History is clear: countries with strong allies thrive, and those without them, fade”, — quotes Reuters the words of Mattis.
In their answers to the questions of congressmen Mattis also stated that he supports the desire of the elected President to establish cooperation with Russia. He noted that the United States collaborated with Russia “even during the darkest days of the cold war”. “And I support the desire of the elected President to cooperate with Russia again,” he said. “At the same time, when we have areas where we can cooperate, we must confront the behavior of Russia and to defend themselves if Russia decides to act contrary to our interests,” added Mattis.