World

Military not 
in disarray: US defence chief

ABU DHABI US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis on Sunday said the United States' vast military continues to run smoothly, even though President Donald Trump's first month has been marked by consecutive crises.

"It's at times wildly contentious, it's at times quite sporting, but the bottom line is this is the best form of government we can come up with," Mr Mattis told reporters in Abu Dhabi during his first trip to the region as Pentagon chief.

"We don't have any disarray inside the military and that's where my responsibility lies."

Mr Mattis arrived in Iraq yesterday where he distanced himself from some of Mr Trump's comments.

But he is likely to face questions about Mr Trump's remarks and actions, including a temporary ban on travel to the US and for saying America should have seized Iraq's oil after toppling leader Saddam Hussein in 2003. Mr Trump had told CIA staff in a January speech: "We should have kept the oil. But okay. Maybe you'll have another chance."

Asked whether a threat to seize Iraq's oil was on the agenda, Mr Mattis flatly ruled out any such intent.

"I think all of us here in this room, all of us in America have generally paid for our gas and oil all along, and I'm sure that we will continue to do so in the future," he told reporters.

"We're not in Iraq to seize anybody's oil." - WIRE SERVICES

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