04 Jun '11, 2am

New weapons for 'robust' US role in Asia: Gates

New weapons for 'robust' US role in Asia: Gates

SINGAPORE: Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Saturday vowed the US military would maintain a "robust" presence across Asia backed up with new high-tech weaponry to protect allies and safeguard shipping lanes. Seeking to reassure Asian allies mindful of China's growing power and Washington's fiscal troubles, Gates told a security conference in Singapore that Washington's commitment to the region would not be scaled back. Instead, the US military will expand its presence in Southeast Asia, sharing facilities with Australia in the Indian Ocean and deploying new littoral combat ships (LCS) to Singapore, where it has access to naval facilities, he said. The LCS is a speedy, lighter ship designed to operate in shallow coastal waters. Gates, who steps down at the end of the month after more than four years as Pentagon chief, said the US military planned to deepen its engagement w...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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