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    U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis gestures during a press briefing on the campaign to defeat ISIS at the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., May 19, 2017

    Mattis: Russia, China Challenging US Military Dominance

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    US Secretary of Defense James Mattis said that Russia and China are challenging the United States' military dominance with technological advances in sea, land and air weapons systems.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Russia and China are challenging the United States' military dominance with technological advances in sea, land and air weapons systems, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis said in a written statement to the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee.

    "Our command of the seas is threatened by long-range, land-based guided munitions battle networks designed to attack our ships at increasingly longer ranges. Our undersea superiority, unquestioned since the end of the Cold War, and a key competitive advantage, is challenged by both Russia and China," Mattis stated.

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

    The US defense chief also said US dominance of the air is challenged by the "proliferation of advanced integrated air defense networks and 5th-generation aircraft."

    Moreover, he said the US dominance on land in conventional, high-end combined arms maneuver is "threatened by the introduction of long-range air-to-surface and surface-to-surface guided weapons, advanced armored vehicles and anti-tank weapons, and tactical electronic warfare systems."

    Mattis noted said these developments put the entire international order at risk.

    "A return to great power competition, marked by a resurgent and more aggressive Russian Federation and a rising, more confident, and assertive China, places the international order under assault," he wrote.

    The Defense Department has requested a $639 billion budget for next year.

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