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James “Mad Dog” Mattis on Thursday made his case before the Senate Armed Services Committee to be Defense Secretary. Mattis, 66, has received praise from Republicans and even some Democrats since he was selected by president-elect Donald Trump.
–This story is developing. We will continue to update this story throughout the day.
On Russian attacks
Mattis said Russia is “trying to break the North Atlantic Alliance,” and that the US needs to take the necessary steps to “defend ourselves when we must.” He also added that he hopes to use the military to “reinforce diplomacy” and plans to bring “business reforms” to military. During his testimony, the former commander of U.S. Central Command said he would strengthen alliances, because he believes strong allies thrive best.
On Iran deal, security
Mattis said he plans to promote Israeli/Palestinian peace and in response to his thoughts on the US relationship with Israel he said:
“We’ve got to restore a better relationship with Israel and our Arab allies.