Contrary to what he said the focus on Asia is to counter the threat by China.
SINGAPORE — Speaking near China’s backyard Saturday, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta rejected suggestions that America’s new focus on the Asia-Pacific will fuel conflict in the region or that the emerging strategy is meant as a threat to Beijing.Instead, he appeared to offer an olive branch to the communist giant, with a broad message that the two often-feuding world powers must learn to work better together for the benefit of the entire region.Panetta: New US focus on Asia Pacific is no threat to China; nations must work together - The Washington PostSpecifically, he said that by 2020, about 60 percent of the fleet will be assigned there as part of a new strategy to increase U.S. presence in Asia. Currently, the Navy has about 285 ships, with roughly half assigned to each coast, but that total may decline a bit as some ships are retired in the coming years and may not be replaced.
The current fleet includes 11 aircraft carriers, with six assigned to the Pacific. The West Coast total is expected to go down to five, but Panetta Saturday said he will maintain 6 carriers in the Pacific, over the long term.