WASHINGTON, November 6, 2015 —
Secretary Ash Carter praised the USS Theodore Roosevelt and its 3,000-member
crew during a troop talk while aboard the Navy aircraft carrier in the South China Sea yesterday.
provided an update on the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the
The defense secretary
on an eight-day trip in the Asia-Pacific region to get a personal view of the U.S.
military’s rebalance efforts.
is an evil thing and it will be defeated, because we are the good and they are
the evil,” Carter said. “We're the many and they are the few. I don't have any
doubt that we are going to beat ISIL.”
victory over ISIL will take time, Carter said.
He added, “If
it were just a matter of us beating them, it would be over quickly. ... As we
learned in Iraq and Afghanistan, [the point] isn't just getting them beaten;
it's keeping them beaten [to] have this victory stick.”
ISIL and Iran each present challenges to U.S. security
interests in the Middle East, Carter
Turning to the Asia-Pacific, Carter said the U.S. military has
helped to maintain peace and stability in the region for 70 years. The USS Theodore
Roosevelt and its crew greatly contribute to that endeavor, he added.
Salutes USS Theodore Roosevelt’s Crew
Carter told the crew members to tell their families of his
and the nation’s pride in them.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt’s crew members “do the noblest
thing a person can do, which is to be part of securing our country and allowing
all other Americans to live in peace, live their lives, and dream their
dreams,” he said.
Carter also told the crew they should also let their
families know that their service aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt is at “the
hinge of everything happening in the strategic history in this era through this
cruise. You have seen it all; you have been part of it all.”
(Follow Terri Moon
Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)