On Thursday, retired General James Mattis sat before the Senate Armed Services Committee during a confirmation hearing to become the next Secretary of Defense. During his testimony, Gen. Mattis spoke about his commitments to defeating terrorism and said that the United States has “to deliver a very hard blow against ISIS.”
“We have to deliver a very hard blow against ISIS in the Middle East so that there’s no sense of invulnerability or invincibility there,” the four-star retired general said, meaning that the U.S. must take out the Islamic State’s strongholds in the region so they cannot continue to thrive.
He stated that the United States needs an “integrated strategy” to ensure that “you don’t squeeze them in one place and they develop in another.”
Senator John McCain, the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, spoke of the threat that Islamic terrorism has on the world and stated that the United States will be “engaged in a global conflict of varying scope and intensity for the foreseeable future.”
“You would lead a military at war,” McCain told Mattis.
McCain also emphasized that Russia was a major threat and that Vladimir Putin will never be our friend, even in the fight against ISIS.
“Each of our last three presidents has had great expectations of building a partnership with the Russian government. Each attempt has failed, not for lack of good faith and effort on the U.S. side, but because of a stubborn fact that we must finally recognize: Putin wants to be our enemy. He needs us as his enemy. He will never be our partner, including in fighting ISIL. He believes that strengthening Russia means weakening America. We must proceed realistically on this basis,” McCain said.