Obama defends defence choice

Barack Obama has defended his controversial selection of former Republican senator Chuck Hagel as his US defence secretary.

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Chuck Hagel's own words on key foreign policy issues

There are so many uncontrollable variables at play in Syria and the Middle East. You work through the multilateral institutions that are available, the UN, the Arab League. The last thing you want is an American-led or Western-led invasion into Syria.

– Foreign Policy magazine, May 2012

On Iran

The two options – attack Iran or live with a nuclear-armed Iran – may be eventually where we are. But I believe most people in both Israel and the United States think there's a ways to go before we get to those.

– Foreign Policy magazine, May 2012

On Iraq and Afghanistan

We’ve got to get out of those wars. Let the people decide what they want. If they don’t want what we wanted for them, or if they certainly don’t want what we wanted for them as much as we want it, then we can’t control that.

– Financial Times, 29 August 2011

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