UPDATED 9:55 AM PT — Friday, May 31, 2019
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has insisted the military will remain apolitical. While speaking Friday at an Asia Security Summit in Singapore, Shanahan reasserted the long-standing mandate to shield the military from politics.
The U.S. defense secretary went on to address a wide variety of topics, including the deployment of USS Abraham Lincoln, which has been deployed to the Middle East to deter Iran from any military action.
Shanahan said U.S. policy is aimed at maintaining free and open seas, and is not targeting any one country:
“But in terms of the capacity of the department, we’ve spent hundreds of billions of dollars generating readiness over the last couple of years. When we think about our depth in terms of readiness and capacity, we have a significant amount we have generated. So, the deployment isn’t depleting our capability.”
Shanahan is in Singapore for talks with the Chinese defense minister amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and China over trade and security.