The U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates reassured its allies in the Asia-Pacific region on Friday that it will maintain and enhance its strong presence in the region, while reiterating the principle of resolving conflict without the use of force. In a speech that best demonstrates the strategy of the United States for growing its influence in Asia, Gates elaborated on the history of its relations with allies such as Japan and South Korea over the past decades as well as countries such as Vietnam and India. "Taken together, all of these developments demonstrate the commitment of the United States to sustaining a robust military presence in Asia -- one that underwrites stability by supporting and reassuring allies while deterring, and if necessary defeating, potential adversaries," Gates said.