Defense Secretary: U.S. Policy of 'Strategic Interaction' Means No Intimidating

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told sailors aboard the USS Blue Ridge that "the American approach to things" is "not to carve things up, it's not to intimidate people or to coerce people to exclude people."

Carter and his Indian counterpart, Defense Minster Manohar Parrikar, visited the command ship of the U.S. Seventh Fleet while stopped in Goa, India.

Carter assured the troops "you are what I wake up for every morning; you are what I'm thinking about all the time. It's you, I know, that first of all, make ours the finest fighting force the world has ever known."

He added that they "represent our style of strategic interaction."

"The American style has always been to include people in protecting us all. That's one of the reasons why people like working with us. It's one of the reasons why we're effective," he said.

Carter reflected on decades of change in Asia. "Today, and here, where we are now, China also rising, prospering. That's good. We're for that. But it doesn't come for free. There has to be peace and stability for that to happen. And so, we've been part of the system created by, in essence, with the rebalance, which you've heard about," he said, lauding the "winning, strategic approach" of the U.S.

Asked at a press conference in Goa about India's concerns of China's maritime aggression, the Defense secretary stressed "the United States' approach to this region is not to exclude or confront."