SIMI VALLEY, California—Cutting defense spending will not close the U.S. government’s spending deficit, and doing so would be a dangerous disservice to U.S. troops and the American people, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Dec. 1 here at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum. Defense spending accounts for 3% of U.S. gross domestic product, while in 1957 it was 52% of the federal budget, compared to 15% in 2017, Mattis said. In October, President Donald Trump told his cabinet ...

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