Defense Secretary Mattis delivered the keynote speech at the annual Association of the United States Army (AUSA) meeting on Monday. During the approximately 22 minute address, he urged the members of the non-profit educational organization to “stand ready” for any duty that may be imminent.
The AUSA supports Army members who are active, in the National Guard, or on reserve, as well as any civilians, retirees and family members associated with that branch of the armed services. General Mattis, in typical form, gave a no-nonsense briefing on the situation with North Korea. He said that although diplomatic pressure will hopefully reign in Pyongyang, the Army must be prepared to act if the talks break down.
He also spoke about congress and the defense budget and thanked the U.S. allies who have stood with America in conflicts over the last centuries.
“It is right now a diplomatically, economic-sanctions-buttressed effort to try and turn North Korea off of this path,” Mattis told the audience. “What does the future hold? Neither you nor I can say.”
He’s correct. Experts suggest that North Korea plans another nuclear weapons test, possibly Monday, if the weather agrees. Tensions between the communist country and the civilized world have escalated since Kim Jong Un performed a series of missile launches at the beginning of the year. On September 3, the country tested a nuclear weapon.
Many people wonder how a poor, almost third-world country has become a major global threat within the last twenty years. For that, Americans can thank Slick Willie and Jimmy Carter who brokered a deal with North Korea back in 1994. The men gave Kim Jong Un’s father $4 Billion and two nuclear power reactors.
Almost exactly 23 years ago the poll-obsessed president said, “This agreement [$4 billion in U.S. energy aid] will help achieve a longstanding and vital American objective—an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula.”
Here’s what the New York Times said about the appeasement deal:
“The accord struck in Geneva gave the President a chance to proclaim a major foreign policy success just weeks before the midterm election. But Asian diplomats pointed out today that it also placed the United States in the odd position of bolstering the political capital of a man it has regularly denounced as a terrorist, a supplier of missile technology to Iran and a dictator: Kim Jong Il.”
Exactly, the man was a terrorist. He immediately violated the agreement (what else?) and began to develop a nuclear weapons program using American tax dollars.
Now, Defense Secretary Mattis and President Trump are left to try to clean up the mess created by 23 years of support. Mattis stressed that diplomatic efforts would be best, but that the Army had better be able to back it up.
“There is one thing the U.S. Army can do, and that is you have to be ready to ensure we have military options that our president can deploy if needed,” Mattis said. “The international community has spoken, but that means the U.S. Army must stand ready. “
“So if you’re ready, that’s your duty at this point and time, and I know the Army will always do its duty.”
“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 and the Department of State, not the Department of Defense and the United States Army,” Mattis explained.
Mattis then asked the audience to help urge congress to pass the defense budget. “I am among the majority in this country that believes our nation can afford survival, and I want Congress back in the driver seat of budget decisions not the spectator seat of automatic cuts,” he said.
“I have great confidence in the U.S. Congress, but I have no confidence in automatic mathematical budget cuts.”
“We must never lose sight of the fact we have no God-given right to victory on the battlefield,” Mattis told the audience.
He’s absolutely correct. While praising the U.S. allies, he encouraged people to “Lay out the problem in compelling and persuasive terms” to lawmakers. Instead of simply asking for more equipment, he said that Army personnel must push for more funding now with reasons, before any conflict arises in that area of the world. He made the same argument at the Air Force Association Conference late last month.
Never in the history of America has the country needed strong minded leaders to take charge of a situation. Kim Jong Un is a mad man, bent on world domination. He must be stopped. Mattis has told the Army that they must be ready to stop it if politicians can’t solve the problem.
Watch the entire speech below: