The following is an excerpt from Nicole Gaouette | November 7, 2015 | Bloomberg.com |
The U.S. is taking steps to counter Russian “aggression” and provocations in Europe and the Middle East, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in a speech that also focused on China’s “more ambitious” objectives.
Carter, speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday, listed ways that Russia has been acting as a “spoiler” on the world stage, including violating the sovereignty of Ukraine, trying to intimidate Baltic countries and sending troops to Syria.
“We do not seek a cold, let alone a hot, war with Russia,” Carter said. “We do not seek to make Russia an enemy. But make no mistake, the United States will defend our interests, our allies, the principled international order and the positive future it affords us all.”
“At sea, in the air, and in cyberspace,” Carter said, “Russia has engaged in challenging activities.”
The U.S. and its allies are also concerned about the pace and scope of China’s land reclamation in the South China Sea, Carter said. The area being reclaimed is the site of almost 30 percent of the world’s maritime trade, including about $1.2 trillion in ship-borne trade headed to the U.S.
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