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Kerry, Hagel Discuss Balance In U.S. Diplomacy And Defense

Published on 04 February 2014

Discover the World Of Judaica

by Merle David Kellerhals Jr.


Washington, D.C.

U.S. Secretary Of State John Kerry Speaks At The Munich Security Conference
U.S. Secretary Of State John Kerry Speaks At The Munich Security Conference

Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told an international audience of efforts by the Obama administration to restore the balance between American diplomacy and defense as the United States moves away from a 13-year war footing.

“It’s clear to us, it’s clear to President Obama that our future requires a renewed and enhanced era of partnership with our friends and allies, especially here in Europe,” Hagel said at the 50th Munich Security Conference on February 1.

At the gathering of the world’s top diplomats and defense officials, Kerry said the trans-Atlantic community cannot retreat from the challenges and threats that arise across the globe. Kerry proposed that what is needed in 2014 is a trans-Atlantic renaissance, “a new burst of energy and commitment and investment in the three roots of our strength: our economic prosperity, our shared security and the common values that sustain us.”

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January, Kerry told political, business and academic leaders that the United States was not withdrawing from the world or its responsibilities into some form of isolationism. He said the United States would be engaged more than ever, a theme echoed by President Obama.

Obama said in his recent State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress that “in a world of complex threats, our security and leadership depend on all the elements of our power — including strong and principled diplomacy.”

Kerry added that successful diplomacy depends on harnessing the power of strong alliances, such as NATO. The United States strongly believes that it is no longer possible for a single nation, acting on its own, to resolve sweeping issues such as Middle East peace, convincing nations to forgo development of nuclear arsenals, or ending the violent civil war in Syria, Kerry said.

“That’s why it’s so important that the United States and Europe stick together, that we continue to understand the importance of the strength of our unity and unity of action,” Kerry said.

“Our challenge today is to ensure opportunity, security and liberty for Americans and Europeans, but also for people all over the world who look to us for that possibility. Our challenge is to renew this partnership and to live up to the legacy of the world’s strongest alliance,” Kerry said.

Kerry also remarked on the depth and breadth of Europe and the United States’ economic partnership over the last 60 years. He said the two economies can do more to harness the energy and the talents of their people through the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which “will promote trade, investment, innovation.”

In his remarks at the Munich Conference, Hagel said he and Kerry have worked closely to rebalance the relationship between diplomacy and defense.

Hagel noted that as changes, challenges and threats emerge, the world will grow more complicated, interconnected and in many cases more combustible.

“The challenges and choices before us will demand leadership that reaches into the future without stumbling over the present,” Hagel told the conference. “Meeting this challenge of change will not be easy, but we must do so and we must do so together.”

Hagel said the emerging strategy in U.S. defense investments makes it clear that Europe is regarded as an indispensable partner in addressing these threats and challenges, as well as new opportunities.



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Posted 2014-02-04 13:15:00