Mattis defends new US nuke strategy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the administration’s new nuclear strategy pays the right amount of attention to arms control, even as it focuses on strengthening the nuclear force.

In testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, Mattis made his first public comments on the new strategy, a summary of which was made public last Friday.

Mattis said he recently received a letter from senators expressing concern that the strategy would undermine traditional U.S. leadership on reducing and eventually eliminating nuclear weapons.

He said the strategy does just the opposite: it will strengthen deterrence of a nuclear attack, and thereby provide the security that would enable further progress on arms control.