SINGAPORE – Critics may question the depth of the Obama administration's new focus on Asia, but Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is spending a lot of time in the region.
On his fifth trip to the Asia-Pacific region in about a year, Hagel is telling defense ministers from Vietnam and India that he'd like to get to their countries too.
Hagel in his speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue security conference said he hopes to visit India this year. And he tells Vietnam's defense minister that he's also looking forward to returning to that country. Hagel is a Vietnam war veteran.
A senior U.S. official confirmed that Hagel is hoping to go to Vietnam sometime late this year. The official wasn't authorized to discuss the plans publicly and spoke anonymously.