An official website of the United States Government 
Here's how you know

Official websites use .gov

.gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS

A lock ( lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Carter: Rebalance is About More Than Freedom of Navigation

You have accessed part of a historical collection on defense.gov. Some of the information contained within may be outdated and links may not function. Please contact the DOD Webmaster with any questions.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said yesterday that the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific is a "whole program of enhanced activities" intended to maintain peace and security in the region.

"The rebalance is a lot more than freedom-of-navigation operations," Carter said during a media availability at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut, as part of a short trip to several locations in New England.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter receives a briefing on the capabilities of the USS New Mexico as he tours the submarine during a visit to Naval Submarine Base New London, Conn., May 24, 2016. DoD photo by Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz
Defense Secretary Ash Carter tours the Virginia-class submarine USS New Mexico during a visit to Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Conn., May 24, 2016. DoD photo by Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz
Defense Secretary Ash Carter receives a briefing on the capabilities of the USS New Mexico as he tours the submarine during a visit to Naval Submarine Base New London, Conn., May 24, 2016. DoD photo by Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz
Secretary's Briefing
Defense Secretary Ash Carter tours the Virginia-class submarine USS New Mexico during a visit to Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Conn., May 24, 2016. DoD photo by Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz
Photo By: Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz
VIRIN: 160524-D-DT527-476

The efforts encompass political, economic and military efforts, including modernization of forces, he explained.

"It is the enormous pattern of bilateral and multilateral exercising we do [and the] partnerships with militaries in the region who are very eager to work increasingly with the United States," Carter said.

Freedom of Navigation

The United States supports freedom of navigation around the world, not just in the South China Sea, he said, noting that the department’s concern is "not just about any one country, including China."

Claims in the South China Sea need to be "settled in a peaceful way, not by militarizing them, not coercion, but settlement in a peaceful [way]," he said. That is a principle the United States stands for all over the world, Carter added. Peaceful resolution of territorial disputes is important around the globe, from "the South China Sea to the Arctic," the defense secretary said.

The defense secretary said the United States and other countries have been standing up for freedom of navigation for hundreds of years. The United States will continue to enforce that freedom all around the world, he added.

In previous speeches, Carter has said the United States will fly, sail and operate anywhere that international law allows. He has previously expressed concern about a China that is "behaving aggressively," listing it among the top five global security challenges facing the United States.

During his visit yesterday to the naval base, Carter visited with troops and toured the Virginia-class submarine USS New Mexico.

(Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD)

Related Stories