U.S. defense boss seeks to put diplomacy ahead of military might

U.S. Defense Secretary Hagel speaks during the Munich Security Conference in MunichBy Missy Ryan MUNICH (Reuters) – The top U.S. defense official on Saturday underscored the Obama administration’s intention to shift the focus of its foreign policy away from military might toward diplomacy. Speaking at the Munich security conference, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he and Secretary of State John Kerry “have both worked to restore balance to the relationship between American defense and diplomacy”. Hagel, in prepared remarks, stressed that the United States was “moving off a 13-year war footing” as the war in Afghanistan winds down and as Washington seeks to avoid getting involved in additional military conflicts overseas. Hagel’s remarks echo those of President Barack Obama, who in his annual State of the Union address this week said the United States could not rely on its military power alone, promising to send U.S. troops to fight overseas only when “truly necessary”.

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