• Carter: US facing challenges from Russia, China

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    SIMI VALLEY, California (Stars and Stripes): The United States must develop new strategies and weapons to challenge aggression from China and Russia, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said Saturday at the Reagan National Defense Forum.

    “That is a generational challenge, like it was in Reagan’s time,” Carter said during a speech at the forum held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Center for Public Affairs. “In the face of Russia’s provocations and China’s rise, we must embrace innovative approaches to protect the United States.”

    Carter’s speech follows a week of travel through Asia, where the contested waters of the South China Sea dominated the trip.

    At the meeting of the Association of South East Asian Nations in Malaysia, defense ministers failed to reach a consensus on territorial claims in the South China Sea. The matter became a behind-the-scenes power struggle between the U.S. and China, and the ministers ultimately abandoned a joint statement that traditionally ends the annual summit.

    “We’re putting our best and newest assets in the region,” Carter said Saturday about tensions with China. “Qualitatively, we are making heavy investments in capabilities of importance there: subsurface warfare, electronic warfare, space, cyber, missile defense, and more.”

    The day after the ASEAN summit ended, Carter stood on the deck of the USS Theodore Roosevelt as the massive nuclear-powered aircraft carrier sailed through the South China Sea, enforcing the U.S. stance on freedom of navigation in those waters.

    On Russia, Carter said he would continue to welcome cooperation when possible, such as multination talks that include Russia and aim to inspire North Korea to surrender its nuclear ambitions.

    Carter also spoke of Russia’s increased aggressive behavior.

    “The United States is accordingly making a number of moves in response, many but not all of which I can describe in this forum,” he said.

    Carter did mention the United States sending additional tanks, aircraft and troops to defend Eastern Europe.

    “We do not seek a cold, let alone hot war with Russia,” Carter said. “We do not seek to make Russia an enemy. But make no mistake. The United States will defend our interests, our allies, the principled international order, and the positive future it affords us all.”

    TNS

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    2 Comments

    1. Passing the bluster of paranoid war-monger generals and defence department officials off as if it were expert opinion is growing wearisome. The only threat is from those who are so eager to resurrect their old military playmate in whatever form possible by provoking Russia. It is a crude attempt to stunt Russia’s development; the only threat the USA really sees is a strong Russia and a strong China, threatening their claim to the top of the global pile. Also, the addiction to conflict is looking rather pathetic at this point in human history. The USA says that world peace is being threatened? Look in the mirror. What world peace? Where? Since when? The USA has made world peace impossible right now, as they are the ones with the expansionist, imperial ambitions that have taken their remorseless toll on millions of lives.

    2. The unabated encroachments of China on territories of Southeast Asian nations in spite of stern warnings from no less than the United States have only one possible conclusion and that is a third world war principally between the United States and its allies as against China and Russia. So, before this disastrous event becomes a reality, all efforts of the contending countries should be a priority to make a concession for the immediate resolution of this impending catastrophe.