Defense Secretary Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee Monday evening he is "shocked" by the low level of U.S. military preparedness. President Trump wants to remedy that by boosting defense spending, but not by as much as many hawks would like.
"I see no evidence Mr. Putin wants a positive relationship" with the U.S.
Trump vs. Obama: Trump's proposal calls for $603 billion for the DOD, whereas Obama's called for $584 billion — that is to say "it's basically the Obama approach with a little bit more, but not much," as committee chairman Mac Thornberry put it.
That's not enough for defense hawks. They want another $37 billion. John McCain said, the "request is inadequate to the challenges we face" and "illegal under current law" — that's because the 2011 Budget Control Act which is still in place, and means his proposal is $54 billion over budget caps, per the Washington Examiner.
There are even cuts affecting the military: The proposal would lead to military base closures in 2021, which is likely to upset lawmakers, according to The Hill. Mattis said this could generate $2 billion or more in yearly savings.
What else Mattis said:
- North Korea is the "most urgent and dangerous threat to peace and security," but he's confident the U.S. can defend itself.
- The situation in Qatar is "not tidy" but "moving in the right direction."
- "ISIS and other terrorist organizations represent a clear and present danger."