Pentagon chief heads east as US tries to maintain Asia focus - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Pentagon chief heads east as US tries to maintain Asia focus

The Pentagon (Courtesy: Wikipedia) The Pentagon (Courtesy: Wikipedia)
By ROBERT BURNS
AP National Security Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - At a time of crisis across the Mideast and beyond, the Obama administration is trying to keep focus on its widely advertised shift to Asia.

The administration has pursued what it calls a "pivot" to Asia since 2011.

The argument is that there's no more important region to long-term U.S. interests - particularly as the rise of China jangles nerves in Asian capitals.

Yet the volatile Middle East keeps drawing back U.S. policymakers and the military.

To put a spotlight back on Asia, Defense Secretary Ash Carter will visit Japan and South Korea this week. And he has more Asia trips planned during his first year as Pentagon chief.

Carter will visit India and attend an international security conference in Singapore in May.

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