Mattis: International order “under assault” by Russia, China

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In this picture relased by the US Department of Defence, US Army Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division scan the landing zone for possible hostile forces 26 August 2005. US and Iraqi forces launched 16 March 2006 what they said was the biggest air raid since the war began three years ago, with a massive assault dubbed Operation Swarmer, intended to clear a suspected insurgent operating area northeast of Samarra, over 125 kilometres (80 miles) north of Baghdad. AFP PHOTO/US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE SGT RUSSELL E. COOLEY

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis said that Russia and China are challenging the United States’ military dominance with technological advances in sea, land and air weapons systems.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Russia and China are challenging the United States’ military dominance with technological advances in sea, land and air weapons systems, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis said in a written statement to the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee.

“Our command of the seas is threatened by long-range, land-based guided munitions battle networks designed to attack our ships at increasingly longer ranges. Our undersea superiority, unquestioned since the end of the Cold War, and a key competitive advantage, is challenged by both Russia and China,” Mattis stated.

Mattis delivered the statement to the committee as part of his testimony at a hearing on the Defense Department’s 2018 budget request.

The US defense chief also said US dominance of the air is challenged by the “proliferation of advanced integrated air defense networks and 5th-generation aircraft.”

Moreover, he said the US dominance on land in conventional, high-end combined arms maneuver is “threatened by the introduction of long-range air-to-surface and surface-to-surface guided weapons, advanced armored vehicles and anti-tank weapons, and tactical electronic warfare systems.”

Mattis noted said these developments put the entire international order at risk.

“A return to great power competition, marked by a resurgent and more aggressive Russian Federation and a rising, more confident, and assertive China, places the international order under assault,” he wrote.

The Defense Department has requested a $639 billion budget for next year.

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