Kerry sails through hearing to replace Hillary Clinton

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WASHINGTON: Obama administration’s Secretary of State Nominee Senator John Kerry has called for a US diplomacy that moves away from military deployments and assassination drone attacks “thrust upon us” by September 11.

“President Obama and everyone here knows that American foreign policy is not defined by drones and deployments alone,” Kerry said Thursday during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. 

“American foreign policy is also defined by food security and energy security, humanitarian assistance, the fight against disease and the push for development, as much as it is by any single counter terrorism initiative,” he added. 

The remarks come despite Obama administration’s drastic escalation of terror drone strikes, also referred to as “targeted killing,” in Muslim countries in the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa as part of its ‘counter terrorism’ policy that has been devised by White House Counterterrorism Advisor John Brennan, who was recently nominated to head the CIA spy agency.

The Senate committee is widely expected to vote as early as next week to confirm the Democratic Massachusetts senator who was his party’s presidential nominee in 2004 that lost to Republican George W. Bush. Reports indicate that Kerry may take over the US State Department in early February, replacing the departing Secretary Hillary Clinton. 

On Syria, Kerry appeared to reject the Obama administration policy of regime change and when pressed by hawkish Republican Senator John McCain about intervening directly in the Middle Eastern country in support of anti-Damascus insurgents, Kerry said he needs time to better understand the situation. 

Kerry did not outline a major foreign policy agenda for the US in the next four years but emphasized that “more than ever, foreign policy is economic policy,” noting that the United States must do better in the global competition for resources and markets. 

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