MILITARY

Defense secretary: US will sharpen 'military edge' in Asia

  • Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks to sailors on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016 at Naval Air Station, North Island in Coronado, Calif. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Thursday said the U.S. will "sharpen our military edge" in Asia and the Pacific in order to remain a dominant power in a region feeling the effects of China's rising military might. Carter made the pledge in a speech aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in port in San Diego. (Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)

    Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks to sailors on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016 at Naval Air Station, North Island in Coronado, Calif. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Thursday said the U.S. will "sharpen our military edge" in Asia and the Pacific in order to remain a dominant power in a region feeling the effects of China's rising military might. Carter made the pledge in a speech aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in port in San Diego. (Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks to sailors on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016 at Naval Air Station, North Island in Coronado, Calif. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Thursday said the U.S. will "sharpen our military edge" in Asia and the Pacific in order to remain a dominant power in a region feeling the effects of China's rising military might. Carter made the pledge in a speech aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in port in San Diego. (Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)

    Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks to sailors on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016 at Naval Air Station, North Island in Coronado, Calif. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Thursday said the U.S. will "sharpen our military edge" in Asia and the Pacific in order to remain a dominant power in a region feeling the effects of China's rising military might. Carter made the pledge in a speech aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in port in San Diego. (Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Defense Secretary Ash Carter says the U.S. will sharpen what he calls its "military edge" to remain a key power in the Asia-Pacific region.

Carter made the pledge Thursday in a speech in San Diego. The remarks are meant to set the stage for a meeting Friday in Hawaii with his counterparts from 10 Asian nations.

The Pentagon chief describes what he calls the next phase of a U.S. pivot to Asia — a rebalancing of security commitments after years of heavy focus on the Middle East.

He said the Pentagon will make its attack submarines more lethal and spend more to build undersea drones that can operate in shallower waters where submarines cannot.