Speaking today on a visit to Indonesia, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said the US ‘remains a Pacific power” and vowed that the US would “continue to strengthen our presence in this part of the world.”
Panetta met with his Indonesian counterpart Purnomo Yusgiantoro, who is currently facing a growing backlash about the military’s treatment of separatists. Yusgiantoro said he told Panetta “separatism has to be put down” and that Panetta “completely agreed.”
But Panetta largely appeared unconcerned with the killings of Papuan separatists and the talks were for him more about strengthening ties with the Indonesian military, its shoddy human rights record be damned.
To that end the talks reportedly centered around China’s growing influence in the South China Sea, though Panetta did add after the speech that he was quite pleased with China’s response to US weapons sales in Taiwan, and predicted this would mean improved relations with the nation.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Israeli Tanks Attack Syrian Army Post Over Errant Mortar Fire - October 19th, 2017
- Syrian Kurds Holding Foreign ISIS Leaders - October 19th, 2017
- ISIS Seizes Villages South of Kirkuk as Iraq Focuses on Kurds - October 19th, 2017
- Pentagon Opens Niger Ambush Probe, Seeking Details on What Happened - October 19th, 2017
- State Dept Contradicts Trump on Cuba 'Attack' Accusation - October 19th, 2017