Politics

Top Pentagon Brass to Brief Lawmakers on New Strategies

Mattis, Selva will testify before House Armed Services Committee

Defense Secretary James Mattis, pictured here, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul J. Selva will testify before the committee Tuesday morning to brief legislators on the Pentagon's recently completed National Defense Strategy and the Nuclear Posture Review. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Top Pentagon officials are slated to appear before House Armed Services this week to inform lawmakers about two recently crafted strategic documents that form the basis of the Trump administration’s defense policy.

Defense Secretary James Mattis and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul J. Selva will testify before the committee Tuesday morning to brief legislators on the Pentagon’s recently completed National Defense Strategy and the Nuclear Posture Review.

Mattis unveiled an 11-page unclassified summary of the National Defense Strategy last month, but Tuesday will be the first time he has publicly addressed the document on Capitol Hill. The hearing will likely focus on the potential for conflict with Russia and China as the strategy emphasizes the potential return of great power wars as a greater threat to the U.S. than terrorism.

Tuesday’s hearing will also be the first public briefing at the Capitol on the Nuclear Posture Review, a strategic document saying how the U.S. should position its nuclear arsenal to meet global threats. Defense officials on Friday rolled out the review at a Pentagon news briefing. The official document, which calls for sea-launched cruise missile and lower yield warheads, mirrors a draft leaked in January.

The National Defense Strategy and the Nuclear Posture Review are the latest in a series of four documents intended to act as a blueprint for national security policy during the Trump administration. The two documents follow the December release of the National Security Strategy, a wide-ranging strategic framework crafted by the National Security Council. The final document in the strategic quartet will be the National Military Strategy, a classified report conducted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff that provides guidance for how the military should carry out its strategy.

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