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American Forces Press Service

Pentagon Releases Western Hemisphere Defense Policy Statement

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2012 – Defense Department officials today released a policy statement that explains how the defense strategic guidance announced in January will shape U.S. military engagement in the Western Hemisphere.

"In the Western Hemisphere, a remarkable transformation has taken place. Countries are doing more than ever before to advance peace and security both within and beyond their borders," Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said in a written statement. "Their efforts and vision provide the United States with a historic opportunity to renew and strengthen our defense partnerships in the region."

The statement also describes DOD defense policy goals of promoting mature, professional national defense institutions; fostering integration and interoperability among partners; and promoting hemispheric defense institutions, officials said.

At a news conference today, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little noted that Panetta leaves tomorrow for a weeklong trip that will include visits to Peru and Uruguay and participation in the Defense Ministerial of the Americas.

“Given that schedule, it is fitting and timely that today the department is releasing a Western Hemisphere defense policy statement,” Little said.

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