Gen. Mattis: "Russia Is The Principal Threat To US Security"

Tyler Durden's picture

The cold war is officially back.

The Senate Armed Services Committee is currently hearing the testimony of retired Marine General James Mattis, picked by Donald Trump to take over the Department of Defense.

Mattis retired from the US Marine Corps in 2013 after serving as the 11th commander of US Central Command, replacing General David Petraeus as the overseer of US operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan. His appointment requires a congressional waiver because federal law states that service members must wait seven years after retiring from active duty before they can hold senior civilian defense positions.

As the WSJ notes, "so far, there is no sign that he will face any resistance on for his Senate confirmation. He's winning a fair amount of praise from Democrats. It this continues to hold, he could have one of the smoothest confirmation votes of any Trump administration nominee."

“Our Armed Forces must remain the best led, best equipped, and most ready force in the world,” Mattis told the Senate.  “We must also embrace our international alliances and security partnerships. History is clear: nations with strong allies thrive and those without them wither.”

“My watchwords will be solvency and security in providing for the protection of our people and the survival of our freedoms,” Mattis said. “America has two fundamental powers. One is intimidation,” Mattis told Senator Gary Peters (D-Michigan). “The other power, which we’ve used less in the last 20 years, is the power of inspiration.” The US should not be turning to military power as the answer to all of its concerns around the world, the retired Marine general added.

Here are some of the key highlights so far:

Russia Is "Principal Threat" To US Security

While much of the hearing has so far been without controveries, in the most striking moment so far, Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Russia stands as the "principal threat" to the United States's security. He said this is because of its actions and efforts to "intimidate" other countries.

Senator John McCain questioned Mattis to get his opinion on how much of a threat Russia represents. Mattis response was that "the world order is “under biggest attacks since WW2, from Russia, terrorist groups, and China’s actions in the South China Sea,”, agreeing with the neocon senator that Russia is trying to break up NATO.

“I’m all for engagement” with Russia, “but we also have to recognize the reality of what Russia is up to,” Mattis told Senator Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island).

Senator Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico) questioned if Mattis would stand up to generals, citing the Cuban missile crisis and bringing up the general’s moniker of ‘Mad Dog.’ “That nickname was given to me by the press,” Mattis said, adding his approach would be “Peace through strength” established by the first US president, George Washington – and often invoked by Trump.

Asked by Heinrich to list the principal threats to the US, Mattis said he “would start with Russia,” and continue with aggressive states and terrorist groups.

* * *

Defense Spending And the F-35

Mattis was probed on issues of defense budget cuts due to the legislation introduced by President Barack Obama in 2011. “I don’t have a solution for… the self-inflicted wound of the Budget Control Act,” Mattis told Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), but promised he would spend the Pentagon’s budget on what it should be spent on.

“If I can’t make an argument to you for why we need a military program, I am willing to lose it,” Mattis told Senator Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota), explaining that the sequester takes away that decision from the Congress and mandates across-the-board cuts.

Mattis also defended the construction of F-35 fighter jet that Trump criticized as expensive and ineffective.“Many of our allies have bet their air superiority on the F-35 program,” Mattis acknowledged to Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut). 

Trump’s tweets about military acquisitions “show he’s serious” about getting the best value for the defense dollars spent, Mattis said, disagreeing with Hirono that such actions were inappropriate. He also backed the president-elect’s position about US allies needing to contribute their fair share. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) brought up her prior military service to criticize “outdated small arms and ammunition,” singling out the M9 pistol and the M-16 assault rifle.

As the WSJ adds, Mattis throws his support behind President-elect Donald Trump's approach to chastising defense contractors about their costs. Gen. Mattis says this shows Mr. Trump is "serious about getting the best bang for the dollar when it comes to defense dollars."

* * *

US Friends and Allies

First and foremost, Mattis listed Israel as one of US' top allies:  “Israel is a fellow democracy and I think Israel’s security is very important to the US,” Mattis told Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi).

“Are there any other democracies in the Middle East?” Wicker asked. “No,” Mattis said.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire) asked about the US troops in Poland in the context of US “reassuring” NATO allies. “NATO is the most successful military alliance probably in modern world history, maybe ever,” Mattis said, but mistakenly argued that “the first time NATO went into combat” was after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“The Pacific theatre remains a priority in my mind,” the retired Marine general reassured Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii). “We have worldwide responsibilities and certainly the Pacific looms large in that.”

* * *

On the US National Debt

In one of the more notable exchanges, Sen. David Perdue asked Mattis to weigh in on the national debt, and Gen. Mattis says the debt is the primary challenge facing the United States. "We cannot solve this debt problems on the backs of our military alone," Gen. Mattis said. He said Congress must "prioritize where this money is being spent." He said there should not be a transfer "of a debt of this size to our children."

* * *

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Please refer to my avatar for my response to Mad Dog.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Meh, you'd have to be suicidal to take on the Russians in Russia. 

This doesn't phase me in the least, as our rulers, for all their faults, are not completely suicidal. 

GGuy's picture



1) Steal the acquired wealth of all White Run countires. Destroy the middle class, destroy all white culture, demonize whites, Christians, heterosexuals

2) Flood all white countries with muslims, wetbax and all the scum Israel would never take.

3) Instigate a nuclear war with Russia, the last FREE WHITE RUN COUNTRY...because they won't commit suicide by INVADER!

4) ALL White countires Nuke each other, white problem solved, GREATER ISRAEL AND THE JOO WORLD ORDER CAN NOW FLOURISH!


the phantom's picture

Dog and pony show for the salivating war-mongers.  Pay attention to what they do, not so much what they say. 

Stuck on Zero's picture

The biggest risk to U.S. security isn't Russia ... it's Washington DC.

BlindMonkey's picture

This is alarming to me but the appointees have obviously been well coached too.  Possibly they are just saying what is needed to get into the gig where they are nearly immune from any further gyrations of the legislative monkeys.


That is my wishful thinking anyway.  Nothing short of putting those tanks in Poland into reverse gear should really be considered.

BaBaBouy's picture

FUCK ... here We Gooo ... Good Ole MIC WAR Machine

"Gen.: "Russia Is The Principal Threat To US Security"

Ghost of Porky's picture

You know what we do with mad dogs...

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

This is good cop, bad cop. All these guys are going to take the Russia heat and assuage it to get confirmed. After that we'll see what the real position is on Russia and if Trump can truly sideline the neo-cons..

bamawatson's picture
Employees of the lower house of the Russian parliament have been ordered to submit a detailed report on all publicly accessible information they have posted on the internet. Some civil servants say the order is vague and excessive.

Russian business daily Kommersant reported on Thursday that the document requiring all staff to report on their internet activities was published on the State Duma intranet earlier this month.

The report is to be submitted as a signed form detailing the “addresses of websites… on which the civil servants posted any publicly accessible information about themselves, as well as any data that would help to identify them.” 
The form must include, among other things, their name, date of issue of their passport, and the position they hold. The State Duma internal instruction is based on a government order issued at the end of 2016. This order requires all civil servants to report their internet activities in 2016 by April 1.

It also states that starting from 2017, anyone who applies for a job in a state agency must provide information about his or her internet activities for over three years prior to the date of application.

The bill does not contain any universal rules for all civil servants, but it does order human resource departments of various state agencies to develop their own rules and to brief their employees on them. Those who violate the social network code can be fired “due to the loss of trust” – which would bar future state employment.  The new requirements are extremely difficult to meet, as the order requires reporting on every post made in social networks, and other internet activities, which can be difficult or next to impossible to remember. They also said that they were already overburdened with reporting following the introduction of a law requiring them to report all income and spending.

froze25's picture

I think he is saying whatever is necessary to get confirmed.

The Management's picture

Yup. But of course Russia is USA's biggest enemy...UNTIL SHE ISNT!

That process still needs to take place, Uncle Sam still has to court Mother Russia, provide a suitable dowry and such.

In any case Russia has been adopting free (albeit corrupt) economic policies for at least 15 years, and is staunchly nationalist - she would make a wonderful anti-nwo bride!(read:less adversarial) & the children would be real shit-kickers :)

Mankind is unfortunately bi-polar, not sure how well 3 super powers would last, and seeing as theres an ocean between us & russia - she would feel much less susceptible to chinese domestic disturbances.

walküre's picture

Russian civil servants have access to social media at work and there's a code? Who'd a thunk!?

How many Amerikanski civil servants are blogging and bending truth on a daily basis?

What is the point of all this anyway?

So Americans can bitch and complain when they've made a mistake based on a lie they read on the internet?

Stupid Americans. Period. Never being accountable to anyone, least accountable for their own stupid actions.

Joe Trader's picture

Trump said he'd be unpredictable & don't believe anyone here who acts like they know what Trump will do.

We now have a "chess master" repping the US, sit back and watch because he's thinking two steps ahead of everyone.

What separates Trump, is that he'll state a goal, aka peace with Russia - but the means to the end have so far been completely unpredictable & unconventional. Anyone who says they know what will happen better be a damn billionaire......

Majestic12's picture

"chess master"

Seriously? Silver-spoon, Jew Bankster Cabinet poser-puppet doing exactly what Killary would do....?

Yeah, "change" we can all (or least the .0001%) can get behind.

Joe Trader's picture

Weak troll - just go back to whatever liberal website you came from. Not going to address anything YOU have to say.

Ignatius's picture

In their minds, hegemony = security

Russia is the biggest challenge to US hegemony (see Syria), but US security not so much.

Ferrari's picture

I respectfully disagree. They just want to spend. They couldn't care less about security.

For example, they push the F 35, which doesn't really work, because it's insanely expensive, but can the venerable F 10, which is a beautiful beast, probably because it's cheap.

By the official narrative ISIS is the biggest threat to our security, "Terrrrrists are behind every garbage can, it's not safe to go outside, or to listen to anything but corporate media." I'm firmly in the camp of there's no flag, but false flag.

But anyway, Fighting Terrorism is a small ticket item. Fighting Russia is what gets the MIC/banksters all hot and bothered. So that's what these swine bray about, and what Hitlery was flogging before she fell. Mattis is playing the game to the neocon gatekeepers. Time will tell what values shine through once Trump & Mattis get in. I'm still optimistic, but I'm often proven wrong by events.

Unfortunately, we have a for profit defense, and by extension, foreign policy, which leaves We The People, less secure, not more.

MrPalladium's picture

Brilliant and insightful post!!


P-51 Stiletto's picture

F 10? I think you mean the A-10 Thunderbolt ll aka Warthog. Otherwise, right on.


Ignatius's picture

It's rarely just a this/that evaluation.  Yes, the cynical money motive is always present.

That said, Russia is an obstacle to US world hegemony - and I stand by that - and that's why they conflate the two terms, hegemony and security.

NAV's picture

And Nuland is back in Europe trying to reset Soros’ global agenda and finish off what 20th century communists failed to do after the two bloodiest empires in history – the USSR and China – enslaved over a forth of the world’s people : Establish a one-world socialist government. Never mind that our country fought two world wars and spilled the blood of our sons allegedly to make the world free for mankind but instead made these regimes possible.  And never mind that the wealthy oligarchs who are financing the plot to destroy Western Christian Civilization are at it again, paving the way for WWIII – with Russia.

Building Totalitarianism in Europe – The Last Coup of Victoria Nuland | Voltaire

by Dimitri Konstantakopoulos | January 7, 2017

Since April 2016, US neoconservatives have been trying to change the status of Cyprus. It is for them both (1) to reunite the island (2) to deprive it of its army (3) but also to deploy the Turkish army under cover of NATO. The inevitable Victoria Nuland, who should have become Secretary of State if Hillary Clinton had been elected president, is maneuvering. This plan is supposed to tie Turkey to NATO and prevent its rapprochement with Russia.

Majestic12's picture

" we have a for profit defense"

Actually, Econ 101...all military "investment" is technically a "stagnant" investment.

It produces no ROI fiscally.

You can't plough a farm with a tank, or send mail with cruise missiles....

imagine F-35 "passenger" go first....

consider me gone's picture

The F 35 and the A 10 are two totally different aircraft. The A 10 is slow  as it was designed for close ground support. It is not a fighter to fighter  aircraft. Last I heard, it was being retained in service. Also, the reason it was considered for scraping is because it is comparatively slow and is vulnerable to new missile systems. Don't don't get me wrong, I love the A 10 and don't know of there is even a replacement for close ground support of it were scrapped.

Gazooks's picture

McCain pointed that out with his tail, ..Russian bastards.


Putin has some nerve wanting 'normalized' relations.


Vlad's mad, too!

Muse minus Time's picture

My bet is on the longshot history "the big grab"  Rev. 18:1-4 KJ

In the stable, this was discovered:

My disrupt & mordida theory (current horse into the gate: gangbanger) is developing from this: My hope is not to see a palenque fight "El Diablo vs. Archangel Gabriel". Father, please shine a parabolic light of prayers on the border, protectors be in His Grace, Christ Jesus is the Way.     V     My friend's message to Trump: might be time for National Guard Practice on the Border.

auricle's picture

What a crock of shit. Russia was a victor of WW2 and should be a part of the 'world order'. Instead, the west would like it all for themselves. 

Vatican_cameo's picture


Terrific, another War-Mongering Asshole.  Here we go again........

(And the Dems love him, Red Flag #1).

Majestic12's picture

"Here we go again........"

I know, right?

Trump appoints bankster Jews and War mongers galore, but where are the pedophiles?

Oh wait...those are his "Hollywood" show people.

walküre's picture

What is the "West" actually? Western "values" today are mostly garbage, propaganda tools.

Majestic12's picture

"Russia was a victor of WW2"

there were no "victors" in WW2.

Russia's contribution and losses were the greatest.

why continue to let Oligarchs destroy everything the working man creates...only to have to create it again?

Is that the world "order" you speak of?

GraveDancer's picture

Total sell-out!
Globalists can buyout the best of the best. this proves it. How long before Trump goes at the auction for a steep discount?!!
WW3 is go indeed!

Book> The Road to World War III: Can the Dark forces of anti-Freedom trump Humanity?


onthesquare's picture

Lets do a test.  US just open all your doors up to Afganstan, Iraq, Eygpt, Syria, Yugoslavia, and more refugees; help them out and bring them into the 48 states.  Russia will then look like your best friend.  They may even begin to accept US refugees.


CPL's picture

Yup.  In all the security projects and contracts I've been on 99.99999% of the times it's always internal.  The idea anyone wants to waste time on infiltrating a government that's flat ass broke, can't keep it's straight and run by morons is laughable.  It would be like breaking into a nuthouse and demanding information from the inmates.

Thought Processor's picture



It's nice to see his comments on debt levels etc.  He's right.  The people of the U.S. are caught in a debt trap which effectively makes them debt slaves.  When it is passed on to the next generation those in it will have been born into a compromised position that they will not be able to get out of.


It is the very definition of 'life long debt slavery.'  The sad part about it is that the new generation will know no other reality, and they will also likely not know exactly who they are in debt to.  If it sounds fucked up it's because it is.  


This should be the real National Security issue.

pods's picture

"Born into a prison that they cannot see, smell, or touch."


Son of Captain Nemo's picture

"It's nice to see his comments on debt levels etc. He's right. The people of the U.S. are caught in a debt trap which effectively makes them debt slaves. When it is passed on to the next generation those in it will have been born into a compromised position that they will not be able to get out of."

True TP

But the irony is the asshole saying it MADE IT ALL POSSIBLE!... And is wearing the "stars" and "good conduct" medals that prove it!

Why we haven't had them all hauled away to prison following a war crimes tribunal for his and his accomplices efforts for bankrupting his own Nation through treason is beyond comprehension!!!

Thought Processor's picture



I continue to hold on to a very small amount of hope.  Wasn't Smedley Butler USMC?  War is a Racket, no doubt.  But the only way all of this will really be exposed is by those inside who speak out.



highly debtful's picture

My thoughts exactly. Funny how the insider never seems to grasp that the threat could well emanate from himself and his own inner circle. 

The faster the US comes to term with the reality of a multi-polar world, the safer we'll all be. Policing the world is no longer an option, neither economically (since all the western world is virtually broke, the US included) nor morally (exporting our system of a parliamentary democracy doesn't seem to go down well in other parts of the world). 

With hindsight, the fall of the Soviet Union has made the US complacent, arrogant and reckless. And Europe never had the balls to stand up to his big brother.  

Chupacabra-322's picture

@ Bastiat,

What's at Stake is the Deep State Global network of MultiNational Central Banking, Espionage, Murder, War, Torture, Destabilization Campaigns, BlackMail, Extortion, Child / Human Trafficking, Drug / Gun Running, Money Laundering, Corruption, NSA spying, Media control & control of the 17 Intelligence Agencies.

Most importantly, The Deep State controls all the distribution lines of the aforementioned. Especially the Coaxial Cable Communication lines of Espionage spying & Surveillance State Apparatus / Infrastructure.

Agencies all built on the British Model of Intelligence. Purely Evil & Highly Compartmentalized Levels which function as a Step Pyramid Model of Authority / Monarch Reign Pyramid Model of Authority.

That's what's at Stake. How this plays out is anyone's guess. The Pure Evil Criminal Psychopath Rogue elements of the Deep State will not go quietly. If not dealt with now, they'll disappear only to resurface at a later date with one objective:

Create Mayhem.

Warthog777's picture

I appreciate your thoughts.  Insightful.


grgy's picture

"The biggest risk to U.S. security isn't Russia ... it's Washington DC."


I would say "world" security.  The best article I've read on the subject is this one:


groaner's picture
groaner (not verified) Stuck on Zero Jan 12, 2017 5:46 PM

Yeah,, Trump gives this guy the job and is a typical warmonger.. Wants to keep the junk F35, and says hes ready for war with Russia???


Doh , Trump is with the Zionists.

Hulk's picture

YEp, have to agree with the neocons to get confirmed...

chunga's picture

Russia bad, Israel good...over and over again. Blah