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US competitive warfighting edge has slipped, says Mattis

Last Updated Jan 20, 2018 at 1:20 am EDT

Defense Secretary James Mattis listens to his introduction before speaking about the National Defense Review, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, in Washington. China's expanding military and an increasingly aggressive Russia are among the U.S. military's top national security priorities, the Pentagon said Friday. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON – Countering China’s rapidly expanding military and an increasingly aggressive Russia are now the U.S. military’s top national security priorities. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis says they even outpacing the threat of terrorism. He said Friday that competition with those adversaries has threatened America’s military advantage around the world.

Mattis is laying out a broad new strategy for the Defence Department. And he warns that all aspects of the military’s competitive warfighting edge have eroded.

He said building a force that can deter war with established and emerging military powers in Moscow and Beijing, and U.S. enemies such as North Korea and Iran will require increased investment to make the military more lethal, agile and ready to fight.