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Mattis to visit weapons base tasked with United States nuclear strategy

Mattis to visit weapons base tasked with United States nuclear strategy

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Wednesday he has become convinced that the United States must keep all three pillars of its nuclear forces rather than eliminating one as he previously suggested.

At Minot, Mattis toured a missile alert facility used to control ICBMs and a storage area where airmen maintain ICBM warheads.

Shortly after President Donald Trump's inauguration, he ordered a Nuclear Posture Review of the USA capabilities, strategies and defense systems, which is expected to be completed later this year. It's home to more than 100 land-based nuclear missiles as well as planes that can carry nuclear bombs.

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Mattis says the key to avoiding nuclear war is maintaining a nuclear arsenal sufficient to convince a potential enemy that attacking the United States with a nuclear weapon would be suicidal.

"Clearly the timing is also created to send a message to North Korea to hopefully de-escalate the situation and get them to work with us on a diplomatic solution", said Hoeven.

U.S. John Hoeven, R-N.D., put out a video statement on the visit saying he thinks that's the point of the trip by Mattis. He chatted with nuclear missile launch officers in their underground command post.

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StratCom employs nuclear, cyber, space, global strike, joint electronic warfare, missile defense and intelligence capabilities to deter aggression against the USA and respond if deterrence fails.

Mattis' trip was scheduled before the recent series of North Korean nuclear and missile tests.

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