U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter was in the Ocean State Wednesday. He toured the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and addressed students at the Naval War College in Newport.
Carter spoke in a large hall to naval officers, and some high school visitors. During a question and answer session, Carter discussed the difficulty of managing military obligations in Russia and the Middle East, while Asia rises in power.
“The reality is we’ve got to do it all,” said Carter. "And the Asian-Pacific especially important because it’s the single region in the world of most consequence, simply by dint of the fact that it has half the world’s population and half the global economy."
He said the military faces challenges due to changing budgets, and a variety of international issues.
“Then you get to what I’ll call the ‘hearty perennials’, North Korea and Iran,” said Carter. “And then you’ve got ISIL, which we’re going to beat, but that takes a certain amount of resources to defeat them and I’m certain we’ll do that.”
Carter told the students his biggest concern is budget battles in Washington and the possibility of future funding cuts. After his talk, Carter saw technology demonstrations at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Middletown.
Carter is on a multi-day trip through Southern New England that began at Yale University, his alma mater, where he addressed the first graduating ROTC class since the Vietnam War era.