Defense secretary says US opening new phase of Asia pivot

Ashton Carter, U.S. Secretary of Defense, is the top man at the Pentagon.

He is one of the most powerful men in America, and he visited Arizona State University in Tempe Monday. He visited ASU to talk about America's new military focus on Asia and the Pacific.

Sec. Carter calls it a "rebalance" or a shift in focus. It's a broadening of perspective after so much attention on Europe, Russia, and the Middle East. He's on his way to Japan and Korea, but first stopped at ASU's Memorial Union.

Carter told the mostly-military audience that part of projecting American strength means improving weapons. One of those is the F-35 fighter, an aircraft that pilots are learning to fly here in the valley at Luke Air Force Base.

The secretary also praised new submarines, a stealth destroyer, a new long-range cruise missile, cyber weapons, and exotic-sounding new technologies.

"We are also working on new weapons like a rail gun, which uses electromagnetic forces, not explosives, to fire rounds at a higher speed, it has a lower cost, and greater effectiveness," said Ashton Carter.

One of the most important issues is the relationship between the U.S., and the rest of the world is China. Regarding China, the secretary said we are not allies, but we do not have to be enemies.

Carter says a peaceful, stable Asia will mean more money in American's pockets.

"95% of the world's customers for cures, software, and more live beyond our borders. There are already 525 million middle-class consumers in Asia, we expect $3.2 billion by 2030," he said.

Carter is originally from Pennsylvania. He doubled majored in physics and mid-evil history at Yale, then became a Rhodes Scholar and studied at Oxford in England.

He has served both Republican and Democratic Presidents.

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