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US Defense Chief Highlights Diplomacy Push

  • VOA News

U.S. Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, speaks during the Munich Security Conference at the Bayerischer Hof Hotel in Munich, southern Germany, Feb. 1, 2014.

U.S. Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, speaks during the Munich Security Conference at the Bayerischer Hof Hotel in Munich, southern Germany, Feb. 1, 2014.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is reiterating the Obama administration's plan to shift its foreign policy focus from military action to diplomacy.

Hagel spoke Saturday at the Munich Security Conference, an annual meeting of world leaders in Germany. His comments come as the U.S. marks the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - having withdrawn all troops from Iraq in 2011 and preparing to end its combat mission in Afghanistan this year.

"With the United States moving off a 13-year war footing, it's clear to us, it's very clear to President Obama, that our future requires a new and enhanced era of friendship with our friends and allies, especially here in Europe," said Hagel.

In his annual State of the Union address Tuesday, President Barack Obama said he would not send U.S. troops to fight unless it is "truly necessary."

Obama has already avoided getting the country involved in new ground-level military action in conflict areas such as Syria and Libya.

But Hagel pointed out the U.S. was still assisting nations in need, highlighting current counterterrorism and humanitarian cooperation with European partners in Mali and the Central African Republic.

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