The United States believes its defence commitments to Southeast Asia are adequate and the deployment of its aircraft carrier groups offer substantial support to several regions.
GARY BURNS: NOVEMBER 2:
GV US Defence Secretary Caspar Weinberger down aircraft steps, greeted by officials
GV EXTERIOR Prime Minister's office
SV INTERIOR Weinberger seated, talking with Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda
SCU Weinberger speaking at news conference (SOT)
GV & SV Armoured personnel carrier (APC) being unloaded by crane (2 shots)
SV Thai and US military personnel look on
GVs APC loaded onto back of semi-trailer, then driven off dock (2 shots)
SPEECH TRANSCRIPT SEQUENCE FOUR:
WEINBERGER: "We feel that the Indian Ocean is an area of extreme importance to the United States and its allies, and we would want to keep sufficient strength in there in maintain the basic positions and the...and to demonstrate and to also carry out the various missions that we see that are important in that area. The other part of the answer is that we are trying to develop a degree of flexibility with the deployment of our fleet units so we would not be thinking about stationing any particular fleet in any particular area in any sort of permanent way. We think it's essential that we have carrier (aircraft carriers) task forces in the Mediterranean. We think it's absolutely essential that we have them in the Indian Ocean. We think it's vital that they be in the areas in the Northern Pacific, near Japan. It's important that they help protect the sea lanes in the Southern for the United States, more or less forced upon us by the increasing global activity of the Soviets."
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Background: The United States believes its defence commitments to Southeast Asia are adequate and the deployment of its aircraft carrier groups offer substantial support to several regions. This view was expressed by US Defence Secretary Caspar Weinberger during his visit to Thailand on November 3. During talks with Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda in Bangkok, Mr. Weinberger was asked to speed up promised arms shipments and the Thai leader also sought more military aid to face what he called "a possible threat from 180,000 Vietnamese troops in neighbouring Kampuchea." Later at a news conference, Defence Secretary Weinberger said the United States considered the Indian Oceans as of extreme importance, and that sufficient strength will be stationed there to maintain basic positions. In reply to a question on deployment of the US fleet Mr. Weinberger said it was not policy to base particular units in particular areas, but US aircraft-carrier groups should operate in locations as far apart as the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, off Japan, and to protect the sea lanes of the Southern Pacific and South China Sea. United States military aid to Thailand commenced in mid-1980. Arms, ammunition and vehicles were in the first assignments. Mr. Weinberger said his country's arms credit to Thailand for this year had been increased from 9.9 million dollars to 12.5 million dollars.