Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta traveled to the Asia Pacific this week ahead of President Obama, who will travel to the region tomorrow to visit Thailand, Burma and Cambodia. On Thursday, Secretary Panetta and Thai Defense Minister Sukampol Suwannathat reaffirmed the U.S.-Thai military alliance. “Today the minister and I moved this alliance into the 21st Century by signing a joint vision statement that will help pave the way for even stronger military to military ties as we adapt to the shared threats and challenges that we will face together in this region and in the future,” Panetta said. “As we focus on these areas of cooperation, I want to convey that the United States remains committed to helping the Thai military further develop its already impressive capabilities so that it can assume even greater security responsibilities in this region, particularly in maritime security and in humanitarian relief and in peacekeeping operations.”
Photo: Secretary Panetta toured the Grand Palace in Bangkok on Thursday. Courtesy of Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo and the Department of Defense.