News / Asia

Hagel: Malaysia Jet Search Shows Need for US in Asia

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (L) listens to Malaysian Defense Minister and acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein during a welcome reception for Southeast Asian defense ministers in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 1, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (L) listens to Malaysian Defense Minister and acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein during a welcome reception for Southeast Asian defense ministers in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 1, 2014.
VOA News
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the missing Malaysian jetliner will be a focus of this week's talks with Southeast Asian defense ministers in Hawaii.

Speaking Wednesday aboard a plane on his way to the summit, Hagel stopped short of criticizing Malaysia's handling of the incident, but said there are "always lessons to be learned."

"We're going to go back, the Malaysians will go back, all the ASEAN nations will go back and walk through this. What could have been done? Maybe what should have been done? Maybe what needs to be done better?" said Hagel.

The Boeing 777 mysteriously disappeared March 8 with 239 people on board. More than two dozen countries have participated in the search for the plane's wreckage in the Indian Ocean.

Geopolitics have complicated the search, with many analysts saying the the effort has exposed rivalries between Asian powers competing for military influence.

Hagel said the disaster highlights the importance of expanded regional defense cooperation and greater U.S. military involvement in Asia.

"I want those defense ministers after they leave Hawaii to feel even more clarity about U.S. commitment to the area, our coordination, our communication, the areas we can cooperate more and more and more and certainly humanitarian assistance, disaster relief is one [area]," said Hagel.

The U.S.-ASEAN Defense Forum is an informal meeting of defense chiefs from the 10 countries that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Following the summit, Hagel will visit Japan, China and Mongolia.

Hagel, who is making his fourth trip to Asia since becoming Pentagon chief, is tasked with helping carry out the Obama administration's economic and military "pivot" toward the Asia-Pacific.

In an opinion piece Wednesday on the Defense One website, Hagel said Washington remains committed to realizing the Asia rebalance. He promised the U.S. will continue to defend its allies and uphold international laws.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid