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America must not 'dictate' to world, new defence chief says

Published on Feb 28, 2013 6:33 AM
 
US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel speaks to service members and civilian employees on his first day in his new post after being sworn in, at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, on Feb 27, 2013. Addressing Pentagon employees shortly after a small, closed-door swearing-in ceremony, Mr Hagel spoke optimistically, if vaguely, about global challenges ahead and the importance of American leadership abroad. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Decorated Vietnam veteran Chuck Hagel was sworn in as United States (US) defence secretary on Wednesday after a bruising Senate confirmation battle, promising to renew old US alliances and forge new ones without attempting to "dictate" to the world.

Addressing Pentagon employees shortly after a small, closed-door swearing-in ceremony, Mr Hagel spoke optimistically, if vaguely, about global challenges ahead and the importance of American leadership abroad.

"We can't dictate to the world. But we must engage the world. We must lead with our allies," Mr Hagel said in what appeared to be unscripted remarks.

"No nation, as great as America is, can do any of this alone."

 
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