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BATTLESHIP Panetta: Fleet to Move to the Pacific Jim Watson, Pool / AP Photo

Panetta: Fleet to Move to the Pacific

Making friends on the global scale isn’t always about being nice. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta outlined a new Navy policy on Saturday in Singapore that he said will bring more U.S. ships to the Asia-Pacific region over the coming decade. Panetta said the move, which will place six aircraft carriers permanently within the region and 60 percent of the total U.S. fleet there by 2020, was not designed to contain the growing influence China exerts internationally. But a stronger U.S. military presence in the region could help advance America’s relations with the Asian country, Panetta said. “We’re not naive about the relationship and neither is China,” Panetta said Saturday at a security forum. “We also both understand that there is really no other alternative but for both of us to engage and to improve our communications ... That’s the kind of mature relationships that we ultimately have to have with China.”

June 2, 2012 8:06 AM