U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) today released the following statement on her vote to confirm General James Mattis as the next Secretary of Defense:
"After careful review of General James Mattis' record and testimony, I believe he will be a voice of moderation and pragmatism in the incoming Administration, a steady leader of the Pentagon, and put the national security interests ahead of politics. Overseeing our brave men and women in uniform is one of the highest responsibilities in the nation, and General Mattis has demonstrated his commitment to the military over his many years of service to our country.
"The incoming President has made deeply troubling statements during the campaign and since his election that could threaten global stability and undermine essential global alliances. General Mattis' statements regarding Russia, China, North Korea and Iran, demonstrate he recognizes the current threats these countries present to the United States, and the need to push back on the President-elect's previous statements that could place the country in jeopardy. Moreover, I was reassured by his affirmation of the importance of our international alliances, including NATO, and his commitments to uphold the law and oppose torture. Going forward, I will ensure he keeps these commitments and upholds U.S. values in national security.
"While I remain concerned about the erosion of civilian control of the military, as demonstrated by General Mattis being considered for this role less than seven years after his military service, I believe this is a unique exception. As we consider our oversight role of the Department of Defense, I look forward to working with my colleagues to exhaust all opportunities to ensure the safety of our troops and the most responsible and prudent use of resources.
"It is also my highest priority to do everything in my power to support the brave California servicemembers currently serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, and defending American interests around the world."