Panetta leaving on 9-day trip to Asia
Sec. of Defense Leon Panetta during his previous visit to Asia. He leaves Wednesday for a 9 day visit to Singapore, India and Vietnam. (photo by Larry Shaughnessy/CNN)
May 30th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Panetta leaving on 9-day trip to Asia

By Larry Shaughnessy

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta leaves Wednesday on a nine-day trip to Asia to bring allies there up to speed on the United States' new Pacific-orientated defense strategy.

"Basically the core of what we are trying to do with the swing through Asia, is to give a comprehensive account to partners and everyone in the region about what the rebalance to the Asia/Pacific will mean in practice," a senior defense official said while briefing reporters about the trip.

The trip starts in Honolulu where Panetta will meet with Adm. Sam Locklear, head of U.S. Pacific Command, who will join Panetta for much of the trip.

From Hawaii they fly to Singapore for the International Institute for Strategic Studies' Annual Shangri-La Dialogue, "Where (Panetta is) going to deliver a large sort of major policy speech focusing on the Asia-Pacific (region) and the U.S. role in the Asia-Pacific in light of the new strategy and the rebalance," according to the official.

Panetta also is scheduled to meet with military leaders from Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Australia and perhaps China. "It's a good opportunity for the secretary to meet his counterparts, we'll have to see who the Chinese send," said a second senior defense official who also briefed the media.

"If the opportunity is there and the schedules can support, we welcome that opportunity, as we have in the past."

Much of the secretary's schedule at the Shangri-La Dialogues remains uncertain because there will be so many officials from various Asian nations, and nailing down specific meetings is still being worked out.

After Singapore, Panetta flies to Vietnam to meet with senior leaders from that country.

"We're going to be able to thank the Vietnamese for their continual great assistance on remains recovery and other importation issues," the first official said referring to Vietnam's cooperation in finding the remains of American servicemen missing since the war there nearly 50 years ago.

The United States and Vietnam have been working for some 17 years on normalization of their relations, and the official says those relations are "really healthy."

From Vietnam, the secretary flies to India for his last stop. He'll spend two days there meeting with top officials in New Dehli and "he'll be giving one major speech in India as well," the official said.

"India is the only country we mention in the defense strategic guidance as a partner. And we are really shifting to a point at which our defense interactions with India are becoming routine."

Panetta is expected to return from the trip late next week.

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Filed under: Asia • Australia • China • Japan • Panetta • Phillipines • South Korea
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  42. rk

    pakis on this forum frustrated that their great beggar nation is not on list ...drone operator sang.."paki pig..p[aki pig..watcha gonna do..watcha gonna do when drones come for u..""" hahahhahaha

    June 4, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  43. Abigail Whitehouse

    Here is my version....LOL !!

    "Once upon a Mumbai dreary, while the Indian Army pondered weak and weary.....
    While they nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
    As of some one gently rapping, rapping at their bunker door.
    "'Tis some visiter," they muttered, "tapping at our bunker door —
    Only this and nothing more."

    What say you? Quoth Leon Panetta… What say you?
    It ain’t no visiter….so to speak…’tis me Panetta.... Evermore.
    I come to see you and nothing more...and then to cry..more and more...
    When I see you hiding Evermore.

    And when you wake up I will be long gone…but will never be back...Never..Anymore.
    I will go to look for another ally...who has some balls and I will never return Anymore.
    Quoth Panetta…. Evermore."

    June 1, 2012 at 9:29 am | Reply
    • Chris

      This is too funny...Ha ha ha hah hah hah !!! I look forward to other versions of this poem. ROFL !!!!

      June 1, 2012 at 9:30 am | Reply
    • T-Bone Thakur

      LMAO !!!!! Great poem. Even Rabindranath Tagore would have been proud !

      June 1, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Reply
    • rk

      poor pakis...frustrated and for the drone above...

      June 4, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  44. William Hendersen

    Does anybody know if Panetta will be visiting the Indian army hiding in bunkers???
    A poem came to mind to celebrate his visit to India. With friends like Indians we should have the Talibans watching our backs !

    "Once upon a Mumbai dreary, while the Indian Army pondered weak and weary.....
    While they nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
    As of some one gently rapping, rapping at their bunker door.
    "'Tis some visiter," they muttered, "tapping at our bunker door —
    Only this and nothing more."
    What say you? Quoth the talibans… What say you?
    It ain’t no visiter….so to speak…’tis…the talibans…2 or 3 but Nevermore.
    We come in peace and nothing more…only in peace and nothing tickle you to heart’s content.
    To sing you some bhajans and maybe go back to sleep Evermore.
    Quoth the talibans, Nevermore".
    And when you wake up we will be long gone…but we will be back…Evermore.
    Quoth the talibans…. Evermore."

    June 1, 2012 at 9:23 am | Reply
    • Chris

      Nice ! Well done....Made my day and put a smile on. Thanks

      June 1, 2012 at 9:31 am | Reply
    • Mazal Rosenbloom

      Perhaps one day bollywood can make a movie of an taliban and an Indian girl love story.

      June 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Reply
    • rk

      the drone operator sang..."bad paki...bad paki..watcha gonna do..?? watcha gonna do when drones come for you..""hahhahaaah

      June 4, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply
  45. Harry Buck

    Leon, please look into the following and revert back to us with an update. We Americans do not want any friends with such barbaric culture. We are also requesting the US Congress to investigate this matter. All aid to india needs to be frozed till we get an explanation.

    In some Haryana villages in India, the young girls are routinely threatened, abused and killed all under Khap (tribe/clan) verdicts. It is acceptable for the families to feed pesticide pills to the teenage girls and then dispose off their bodies by burning them without any police records.

    June 1, 2012 at 8:55 am | Reply
  46. SayanIndia

    Faced with potential grim prospect after United States Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s upcoming visit to India (including a very busy schedule) the Pakistani administration is in a desperate damage control mode.


    June 1, 2012 at 7:13 am | Reply
    • Harry Buck

      I am sure it will be as one can imagine looking at one of the issues on the agenda.

      (1) Continued “brutal Indian occupation of Kashmir” and their right to self-determination.

      June 1, 2012 at 8:59 am | Reply
  47. Mark L

    This guy is a bufoon. He and Hillary love to travel at tax payers expense putting mileage on the USAF planes and achieve nothing. They should be grounded and spend time working in the soup kitchens taking care of the wounded vets and homeless. I have had enough with these underachievers on my nickel.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:41 am | Reply
    • SayanIndia

      @Mark L, May I know what you have achieved in your lifetime?

      After all the stupid nature of your posts do not inspire much confidence.


      May 31, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply
      • Mark L

        None of your business. Put your head down and start washing dishes.

        May 31, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • SayanIndia

      @Mark L/Impersonator, Are you an American in the first place? I doubt that.


      May 31, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Reply
      • Mark L

        Again. None of your business where I am from either.

        May 31, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
  48. SayanIndia

    “Realignment of Priorities” appears to be strong in the agenda of United States Defense Secretary’s Panetta’s present trip to Asia.


    May 31, 2012 at 6:58 am | Reply
    • Neil Rothstein

      Is it a spinal cord that needs to be realigned? He probably wants to get away from wife.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Reply
  49. Kimwa

    According to stragetics,pakistan has been the deadliest country in the world. Things change,yes. However security is a concern out there. Militia insurgents are capaple of administering terroristic activities!, according to Afghanistan president at NATO meeting in Chicago. Again secretary,address child paramilitary training in India.

    May 30, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Reply
    • Mark L

      Yes, Pakistan issue needs to be addressed and needs to be brought into the fold. India is financing terrorism bigtime there (and CIA is aware of it) besdies the homegrown elements there. Indian occupied Kashmir issue needs to be resolved. Now that you mention, I do not trust the afghan president. He is a two bit drug dealing and abusing hustler who is in bed with everyone at same time. There is a big drug trade going on in Afghanistan in which all the parties there are involved. That is why we have been there for over ten years. This will all come out in the media soon. Someone should be checking all planes going in and out of Afghanistan. they are carrying more than people and equipment !!!

      May 31, 2012 at 8:48 am | Reply
  50. Ashok Mehra

    Perhaps Leon Panetta can address this issue of "Child Soldiers" with Indian Prime Minister. We Americans find this unacceptable.

    Child Soldiers of India

    India as a nation is facing a new problem concerning its children- emergence of children as soldiers in strife -torn states of Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, AndhraPradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Nagaland and Assam. They are getting drawn into fighting both with rebel groups as well as security forces. What was considered a problem in African countries of Sudan, Sierra Leone and other countries like Sri Lanka and Nepal has become a reality for India too.

    According to human right activists the actual number of children recruited by state or non state groups as soldiers is not as obvious as in other countries but we know there is an increasing number of children being drawn into active combat.These children exposed to war and conflict are one of the most vulnerable groups often forced to witness or perpetrate combat atrocities. They are scarred for life, their childhood shattered.

    May 30, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  51. Maria

    While the going is good, US should get a few naval bases on Indian territory. Make India feel good by giving it a few world war 2 frigates and have them patrol the pirates. That way they will think they are gettingthe impotrance and we get our bases.

    May 30, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Reply
    • SayanIndia

      @Maria, When you think about India, consider sharing technology of nuclear powered submarines.

      The Russians have already “leased” one of their highly sophisticated Akula Class nuclear powered submarines to the Indian Navy besides transferring requisite technologies for India’s indigenous ones.


      May 31, 2012 at 7:32 am | Reply
      • Mark L

        Are you kidding. Indians can't even run the airconditioning plants in buildings and you want us to hand over nuclear technology. Easy cowboy you are not there yet nor will be in the next century.

        May 31, 2012 at 8:50 am |
      • SayanIndia

        @MarkL, Educate yourself first prior responding to my post. I am no buffoon as you and I do not visit here to kill time.


        May 31, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  52. Shawn Williams

    For the life of me I can't figure out what utility the million Indian army has for anyone!!!! What do they do except sit in trenches waiting for god knows who ! For US to support such a ludicrous country is baffling. Move on people. Bangladesh would probably give you a better bang for the buck than India in trying to do your cleanup work vis a vis China.

    May 30, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  53. Charlie

    Too little too late. The world control has slipped by US. Panetta's role is to do damage control for the incumbent in the oncoming US election. He will be gone after that.

    May 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  54. James McDonald

    Pakistan “RISING” has established itself as part of a very dynamic regional paradigm amalgamating it geographically with Central Asia, Middle East and Europe. While also situated at the gateway to the Arabian Gulf, Pakistan will also have access to the waters of the Caspian Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, Arabian Sea, China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. This positions Pakistan at the crossroads to peace and prosperity in the world and economic well-being as well as military clout.

    May 30, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • rk

      pakimpig...why hide under american names...pak is rising only in terrorism and drone deaths..hahahahhaha

      June 4, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Reply
    • rk

      paki "RISING" in drone deaths and terrorism and redicule of world....hahahaahha

      June 4, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  55. krm1007

    PAKISTAN.....The New Gateway to Central Asia and Europe.
    With a population of over 180 million most of whom are well educated, English speaking, entrepreneurial and a cultural and social fit with Central Asians...Pakistan will now become the new face and gateway to Central Asia and Europe. Pakistan will thus span this region and provide the impetus for growth, prosperity and unity among these countries. These are new and exciting times for Pakistanis who should now look forward to their new leadership role aligned with Central Asia and Europe rather than the Subcontinent. We wish them much success as they have sacrificed the most during the past 30 + years creating a new world order.

    May 30, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • JR

      Excellent perspective. Pakistan has arrived

      May 30, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  56. suckerforlove

    dont believe anything they say

    May 30, 2012 at 10:38 am | Reply
  57. Foresight

    Pakistan isn't on the list?

    May 30, 2012 at 10:37 am | Reply

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