- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
- De Blasio’s wife irks former mansion chef with ‘servant’ remark
- Russia’s neighbors shiver amid Putin’s Cold War moves in Ukraine
- New SAT: The essay portion is to become optional
- Military group can’t march to honor the fallen at Boston Marathon due to security changes
- Senate passes bills deleting ‘retarded’ from laws
- China announces biggest military hike in 3 years: We are not ‘boy scouts with spears’
Inside the Ring: Ideological war on terror needed
Mr. Panetta said the pivot to Asia is not solely about “moving more ships or aircraft or troops to the region.”
“We want to deepen and modernize our existing partnerships and alliances, and we want to build regional institutions, particularly working with ASEAN,” he said, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
As reported in this column last week, Mr. Panetta’s future as defense secretary in the second Obama administration is a hot topic since President Obama’s re-election.
Mr. Panetta provided reporters traveling with him to Asia a “two-handed” answer to the question of whether he will continue on in the second Obama administration.
One the one hand, Mr. Panetta said “it’s no secret that, at some point, I’d like to get back to California. It’s my home, and we have our institute.”
On the other hand, he added: “But there are a lot of challenges right now with regards to defense issues in Washington – sequestration, budget issues, issues related to planning on Afghanistan – and I think the president and I are working very closely to make sure that we meet those defense challenges.”
Mr. Panetta said his current goal is to deal with those issues.
Pressed on whether he intends to stay four more years, the defense secretary stated: “Who the hell knows?”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
- Inside the Ring: Pentagon reevaluating Obama's pivot to Asia
- Inside the Ring: All eyes on Moscow's military moves in Ukraine
- Inside the Ring: China readies for 'short, sharp' war with Japan
- Inside the Ring: U.S., China in war of words over South China Sea air zone
- Inside the Ring: China military on the rails
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
- Aronofsky's 'Noah' banned in Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- Back to the Future: HUVr Tech marketing video goes viral with hoverboard release tease
- MSNBC's Rachel Maddow: Bush to blame for Ukraine
- Christine O'Donnell eager to re-engage in political debate
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Russian lawmaker wants to outlaw U.S. dollar, calls it a Ponzi scheme
- U.S. tasks Navy destroyer to Black Sea amid Ukraine tensions
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again