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James Mattis Voices Concerns Over Cyber Language in Fiscal 2018 Defense Policy Bill

James Mattis

Defense Secretary James Mattis has asked Congress to remove a language in the proposed fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that would pressure the U.S. to notify foreign governments of cyber attacks in the event that the Defense Department has decided to counter such breaches, Reuters reported Thursday.

“The nature of cyber attacks is ever evolving, and we need to maintain our ability to take decisive action against this increasingly dangerous threat,” Mattis wrote in a Tuesday letter to Congress.

His letter comes as House and Senate conference members start to reconcile the two NDAA versions.

The Washington Examiner reported that Mattis also expressed his concerns about the potential impact of budget caps set in the 2011 Budget Control Act on the country’s military readiness.

“Current caps continue to unnecessarily defer critical maintenance, limit aviation availability, delay modernization, and strain our men and women in uniform,” he wrote.

Mattis also asked Congress to authorize another round of base realignment and closures and raised objections to several provisions in defense policy bills, such as the establishment of a new space corps and proposed reforms to the military health system.

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