Defense Secretary Outlines Planned Pacific Weaponry

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, seeking to persuade a skeptical…

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, seeking to persuade a skeptical audience of Asian officials here on Saturday that the United States is committed to enhancing its military presence in the region despite coming budget constraints, unveiled the most detailed inventory to date of planned new weapons for the region.

The Navy, Mr. Panetta said, would reconfigure its forces from a 50-50 split between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific to 60 percent of the Navy’s assets assigned to the Pacific Ocean.

The renewed emphasis on the Pacific would involve six aircraft carriers, and a majority of the Navy’s cruisers, destroyers, littoral combat ships and submarines. These would be fortified by an increase in the number and size of military exercises in the Pacific, and a greater number of port visits.

Mr. Panetta outlined the inventory in a speech to Asian defense ministers, uniformed officers, analysts and contractors at the annual meeting here of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Read more at The New York Times

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