03.24.17

Sec. Mattis: Soft Power Is A “Fundamental” Power

. . . Secretary Mattis: The Power Of Inspiration Is “Part And Parcel Of How We Defeat (ISIS)”

Contradicting the Trump Administration’s budget priorities, Defense Secretary James Mattis Wednesday testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense that “soft power” is fundamental to national security. 

Mattis said: “America’s got two fundamental powers: the power of intimidation and the power of inspiration.  Soft power is largely found in the power of inspiration.  And it’s part and parcel of how we defeat this enemy (ISIS).”

Mattis’ testimony seems to contradict the budget priorities in the Trump Administration’s so-called “Skinny Budget,” which was released last week.  The budget would slash the State Department by 28 percent, crippling the agency’s ability to carry out activities and programs that are fundamental to America’s “soft power,” like supporting our diplomats, maintaining security alliances, countering violent extremism, controlling the spread of nuclear and biological weapons, fighting pandemic disease like Ebola, supporting international peacekeeping, and providing emergency relief after natural disasters.

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) strongly pushed back on the proposed cuts since they were first announced, and has continually pushed back against the Trump’s administration’s budget proposal, saying “we cannot make America ‘Great Again’ at the expense of middle class families and the most vulnerable among us, and you do not make America ‘stronger’ by eliminating the very programs that make our nation more secure.”

Leahy also is the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee On The State Department And Foreign Operations, which handles the Senate’s work in writing the annual State Department and foreign operations budget.

You can find Leahy’s hearing opening statement HERE.

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