British Terrorism Policies Match U.S., Says Hague

Posted in: G-Town News- Nov 18, 2010 Comments Off on British Terrorism Policies Match U.S., Says Hague

November 18, 2010 –The most important shared foreign policy issue with the United States is working against terrorism, British Foreign Secretary William Hague told students and faculty at Georgetown Nov. 17.

The talk comprises his first major policy speech on American soil since the new British coalition formed earlier this year.

Hague called the U.S.-U.K. partnership in security “fundamental to both countries,” and listed as examples efforts in Afghanistan, Iran’s nuclear program and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Security Challenges

“Our government is determined to stand foursquare with the United States and our allies to confront the security challenges of the 21st century as robustly as we faced those of the past,” Hague said.

That won’t be easy, he said, especially considering the current economic climate, and recently restricted Britain’s spending on defense, diplomacy and development.

Add that to evolving technologies and growing interconnectedness throughout the globe, and “defense policy must be the instrument of a strong and clear-sighted foreign policy,” Hague said.

Addressing Threats

“Today, it is not enough to protect our citizens in their communities and within our borders,” he added. “In a networked world, we need to be able to address threats before they reach our shores and to use diplomacy, development and our intelligence services to help avoid the need for military action as a last resort.”

He called his country’s “indispensable relationship with America … at the heart of our view of Britain’s place in the world.”

Progress vs. Safety

In what School of Foreign Service Dean Carol Lancaster called “an enlightening and forceful presentation,” Hague acknowledged the need to balance cybersecurity and advancements in communication.

“If, in our response to genuine security threats, we inadvertently halt the last half-century’s march to greater freedom of communications,” he said, “then the terrorists and criminals who currently exploit Internet openness really will have won.”

He also said upholding democratic standards as well as promoting human rights and political freedom are all intrinsic to Britain’s foreign policy.

“If we are to maintain our influence in the world, we must always seek to retain the moral advantage,” he explained.

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