Pentagon, United States (4E) – United States Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday stressed on the need for his country to work and build relations with its allies as well as other nations, adding that America cannot ‘dictate to the world’.
Hagel’s comments came shortly after his sworn in ceremony on the first day of his job. In his first address at an auditorium of civilian officials and military officers, Hagel said that America is a powerful country but still it needs to forge strong alliances with rest of the world to accomplish its goals.
“I’ve always believed that America’s role in the world has been one that should engage the world. We can’t dictate to the world. But we must engage in the world,” Hagel said. “No nation, as great as America is, can do this on their own. We need to continue to build on the strong relationships that we have built,” he added.
Different from other defense secretaries, Hagel was seen supporting President Barack Obama’s policy of disengaging the U.S. from ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. had withdrawn its forces from Iraq two years ago and nearly 66,000 troops are due to leave Afghanistan by next yearend.
Hagel said that the U.S was ultimately a force “for good”, adding, “We make mistakes. We’ve made mistakes. We’ll continue to make mistakes. But we are a force for good. And we should never, ever forget that, and we should always keep that out in front as much as any one thing that drives us every day.”