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Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis visits Stratcom

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis visits Stratcom

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is delivering a subtle message with his visit to a North Dakota nuclear weapons base: America is a mature nuclear power not intimidated by threats from an upstart North Korean leader who flaunts his emerging nuclear muscle.

"I've questioned the triad", Mattis told reporters flying with him to Minot Air Force Base, according to The Associated Press.

Minot Air Force Base is home to two parts of the US nuclear triad? strategic bombers and about 100 land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).

Mattis said he has considered reworking the current nuclear posture known as the triad: nukes launched from USAF jets, U.S. navy submarines, or the ground.

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Minot is the only base in the United States that has both land-based missiles and strategic bombers.

"You want the enemy to look at it and say, this is impossible to take out in a first strike, and the [U.S.] retaliation is such that we don't want to do it", he said, according to AP. At the command, Mattis was expected to receive classified briefings on USA assessments of the North's sixth nuclear test on September 3, which may have been a hydrogen bomb.

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.

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.