Arriving in Singapore last week for his first visit to the annual Shangri-La Dialogue security conference, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with his Indonesian counterpart Purnomo Yusgiantoro to discuss closer security ties between the two nations. The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of deeper ties during the May 31 get-together, discussing topics like US support for Indonesia’s military modernization, including through US foreign military sales, said Pentagon spokesman George Little. During his time in Singapore, Hagel also met with the Singaporean prime minister and defense minister and had separate meetings with the Vietnamese prime minister and defense ministers of Malaysia, the Philippines, and South Korea. He also had a trilateral meeting with the South Korean and Japanese defense ministers and with the Australian and Japanese defense ministers. (Includes on-the-scene coverage by AFPS’ Karen Parrish: June 2 report; June 1 report; and May 31 report.) (See also US, Indonesia Lay Out F-16 Deal.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.