Defense Secretary James Mattis speaks about the National Defense Review, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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Countering China's rapidly expanding military and an increasingly aggressive Russia are now the U.S. military's top national security priorities, outpacing the threat of terrorism, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday.Laying out a broad new strategy for the Defense Department, Mattis warned that all aspects of the military's competitive war-fighting edge had 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.The U.S. and its allies, Mattis said, are stronger together.The shift also underscores broad American concerns about Russia, given Moscow's takeover of Ukrainian territory, involvement in Syria's war and alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
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