Defense chief calls for close cooperation between U.S. industry, Pentagon

Oct. 9 (UPI) — U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis on Monday called for close cooperation between the U.S. industrial community and the Pentagon.

Mattis made the remarks during a speech at the annual conference of the Association of the U.S. Army, a non-profit advocacy group.

In calling for closer cooperation, the defense chief cited the three years of retirement he spent — between his military career and his Cabinet appointment — in California’s Silicon Valley, a hotbed of industry and innovation. Mattis noted the capabilities of businesses he saw there and recommended “open communication with U.S. industry.”

Mattis also urged companies involved in computer-related fields not to “deny us advances” in material of value to the Defense Department.

Nuclear deterrent and conventional fighting, he said, remain goals at the Pentagon — along with efforts in space and cybersecurity.

Without mentioning names, Mattis referred to a “destabilizing force” in the Middle East and was critical of “redrawing the map” of Europe, a likely reference to Russia’s annexation of Crimea three years ago.

The defense secretary also offered words of security for U.S. allies, specifically NATO.

“We are with you,” he said.

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