The rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region is a critical national commitment that focuses on regional prosperity and sharpening the usa military edge, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said today in San Diego.
In his remarks aboard the carrier, Mr. Carter pointed to ways in which the Pentagon is making investments in the region, including tripling the Tomahawk cruise missile strike capacity of the Pentagon's Virginia-class submarines being deployed to Asia, and increasing funding for a variety of sizes of undersea drones. "For example, the universal right to freedom of navigation that allows China's ships and aircraft to transit safely and peacefully is the same right that Beijing criticizes other countries for exercising in the region".
"There is a technological handshake between the United States and India".
He began a four-state swing Monday by calling for billions of dollars of upgrades to US nuclear weapons and facilities.
Under Duterte's predecessor, the USA had signed agreement allowing American forces access to five military bases in the Philippines and for deepening military ties.
This file photo taken on July 27, 2016 shows Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (R) greeting US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip S. Goldberg (L) as US Secretary of State John Kerry looks on during his visit to the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila. "I'm serving notice now to the US: I will maintain the alliance, but I will establish new alliances".
The U.S. and Philippines have a joint exercise planned for early October, but defense officials say they are uncertain about additional joint exercises beyond that one. "It is very high on their agenda when they speak to us", the official said, adding that the USA is looking for ways to increase counter-terrorism training with those three nations, as well as Singapore.
"America's regional partnerships are growing in number and strength".
Carter was in San Diego on his way to Hawaii, where he was scheduled to host a meeting for defense ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
In a statement marking the fifth anniversary of the repeal of the so-called "Do n't Ask, Don't Tell" law that barred gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said today's military is stronger than ever.
He also cited concerns about Islamic extremism in Asia and problems linked to the Islamic State group.
Although Carter said Duterte's comments were not discussed, "I can tell you that just speaking personally for myself, I find those comments deeply troubling".
Duterte then recalled the previous Aquino administration's purchase of three FA-50 lead-in fighter jets, saying they were of no use because the USA would not allow the Philippines to buy the aircraft's missiles.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday said they have not received any official communication from the Philippine government on the matter. "Clearly the military brass in the Philippines does not feel the same way as Duterte".
The Pentagon chief's remarks came in response to Duterte's announcement to end joint military exercises with the US.
Even so, Carter said in his speech Thursday that the relationship with the Philippines is "ironclad".