“No. Those talks are clearly the result of the amount of international pressure (on North Korea), and they are a way for North Korea to start talking while keeping it contained to a benign issue [referring to the delayed military manoeuvres and Kim Jong-un’s reopening of cross-border communications]… In terms of whether it’s a one-off (gesture) from him or a real olive branch, I don’t know.” – James Mattis, Daily Echo, 6 January 2018.
“We would restore the aid if we see decisive movements against the terrorists, who are as much of a threat against Pakistan as they are against us… The specific individual things we’re doing are best handled in private, to ensure that we can be most productive. And that’s what we’re working now.” – James Mattis, DNA India, 6 January 2018.
“We are going to deconflict with the Olympics — the regular Olympics and the Paralympics… We’re not going to be running exercises.” – James Mattis, Military, 5 January 2018.
“I wouldn’t read too much into it [referring to the surprise agreement to talks by North Korea]… We don’t know if it’s a genuine olive branch.” – James Mattis, Military, 5 January 2018.
“There’s a campaign plan now that starts regionally. So we started thinking about India and Pakistan and Afghanistan. We reinforced some of our forces there, because we found some forces didn’t have the American advisers they needed, and the ones with advisers seemed to always win. The ones without them did not fare so well.” – Hames Mattis, DNA India, 6 January 2018.
“I’m saving money for bombs.” – James Mattis, The Hill, 31 December 2017.
“I carry out my duties to the best of my ability.” – James Mattis, Chicago Tribune, 31 December 2017.
“There is international money that has got to be administered, so it actually does something, it doesn’t go into the wrong people’s pockets.” – James Mattis, Radio Free Europe, 30 December 2017.
“What we want to do is drive this down to the point that it can be handled by local authority, by police and that sort of thing, … but right now it’s still very much a military/intelligence operation.” – James Mattis, Military, 29 December 2017.
“I’m never okay with any civilian casualties … don’t screw with me on this. … Anything we can do to limit the civilian casualties, we will be doing, … We are going to try to make that military of the Saudis more capable of carrying out what they find to be their military necessity without killing innocents.” – James Mattis, Military, 29 December 2017.
“Never once have we called and it’s not been answered, never once have they called and we’ve not answered [referring to the hotlines used by U.S. and Russia to communicate].” – James Mattis, Military, 29 December 2017.
“The war is not over [in Iraq and Syria].” – James Mattis, Military, 29 December 2017.
“I anticipate more general purpose forces being used for some of the missions, … In the past, we used only special forces to do it. The general purpose forces can do a lot of the kind of work that you see going on and, in fact, are now.” – James Mattis, CNBC, 29 December 2017.
“We told you that the [ISIS] caliphate was going to go down, … as we sit here today at the end of 2017, the caliphate is on the run, we’re breaking them.” – James Mattis, CNBC, 29 December 2017.
“A brand threat [about the threats ISIS poses in 2018 across the globe], I think, more than anything else, that can inspire lone-wolf attacks. It can inspire other groups. … a diminishing appeal. It’s less inspirational when they’ve lost their physical caliphate. It’s less inspirational, as the stories of what it was like living under their rule come out. … The appeal is still there for people who are attracted to the sort of thing they stand for” – James Mattis, CNBC, 29 December 2017.
“We’ve got a lot of money coming from international donors for this … The longer term recovery is going to take a lot of effort and a lot of years after what they [ISIS] did, because they forcibly kept innocent people in the midst of the combat zone, and that meant the residential areas took damage, the public areas – everything took damage. Schools were damaged.” – James Mattis, CNBC, 29 December 2017.