17:49 GMT +319 March 2018
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    James Mattis said in a written statement to the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee released on Monday that he is "shocked" by the low level of the US military's readiness.


    Mattis delivered the statement to the Armed Services Committee as part of his testimony at a hearing on the Defense Department's 2018 budget request.

    "I have been shocked by what I've seen with our readiness to fight. For all the heartache caused by the loss of our troops during these wars, no enemy in the field has done more to harm the readiness of our military than sequestration," Mattis stated.

    In the same statement, Mattis slammed Russia and China for challenging the United States' military dominance with technological advances in sea, land and air weapons systems.


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