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Thursday, 12 October 2017 16:31

John Kelly offered a not-very-reassuring adage about diplomacy and war

Written by  Philip Bump

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly said on Oct. 12 that he and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis used to say before retiring from the military that if the State Department was not well funded, they would need "more bullets.

" (Reuters)

At the White House news briefing on Thursday, Chief of Staff John F. Kelly fielded some questions from reporters aimed, in part, at tamping down questions about the security of his position in the administration.

At one point, he was asked what issues facing the nation kept him up at night. Kelly’s answer, in short, was not much.

“The good news is, out there we have a great State Department doing the diplomacy thing night and day,” he said. But then he added something striking.

“As Jim Mattis and I have many, many times said when we were in uniform: If we don’t fund the State Department properly, buy us more bullets,” he said. Later, he expanded on that thought. “We don’t like to think of things turning military, but that’s always an option. The great thing about our military is it’s a real deterrent factor around the world.”

That aphorism — spend money on diplomacy or you have to spend money on war — is meant to be cautionary.

Read more at WashingtonPost

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