US to move the majority of its naval fleet to Asia
The United States will move the majority of its war ships to the Pacific Ocean as part of a strategy of boosting links with its Asian allies, Leon Panetta, the American defence secretary, has announced.
Speaking in Singapore, Mr Panetta said the shift from the Atlantic to the Pacific would take place by 2020, at the same time as military cooperation with nations including Vietnam and the Philippines was enhanced.
At present, around half of all US war ships are in the Atlantic, and the shift is being seen as part of what President Barack Obama has described as a “pivot” towards Asia in American foreign policy.
Some Asian critics had questioned whether the White House would find the money to make good on its commitments to the region.
But Mr Panetta told an audience of military chiefs and defence officials: “By 2020 the Navy will reposture its forces from today's roughly 50-50 split from the Pacific and Atlantic to a 60-40 split in those oceans.
“We will also invest - invest in cyber, invest in space, invest in unmanned systems, invest in special forces operations.
Posted by: tipper