The world is well aware we face a number of immediate, dangerous challenges, particularly in the Middle East and South and Central Asia. Given our extraordinary interest in non-proliferation, we must resolve the questions surrounding Iran’s nuclear program. The President has made it definitive--we will do what we must do to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and I repeat here today: our policy is not containment, it is prevention and the clock is ticking on our efforts to secure responsible compliance. This Administration, working with Congress and an unprecedented international coalition, has put into place crippling sanctions on Iran. Mr. Chairman, you have been a leader in that effort and I know will continue to be. President Obama has stated again and again, and I want to emphasize this, he and I prefer a diplomatic resolution to this challenge, and I will work to give diplomacy every effort to succeed. But no one should mistake our resolve to reduce the nuclear threat.
Nearly 42 years ago Chairman Fulbright first gave me the opportunity to testify before this Committee during a difficult and divided time for our country. Today I can’t help but recognize that the world itself then was in many ways simpler, divided as it was along bi-polar, Cold War antagonisms. Today’s world is more complicated than anything we have experienced – from the emergence of China, to the Arab Awakening; inextricably linked economic, health, environmental and demographic issues, proliferation, poverty, pandemic disease, refugees, conflict ongoing in Afghanistan, entire populations and faiths struggling with the demands of modernity, and the accelerating pace of technological innovation invading all of that, shifting power from nation-states to individuals.
With the end of the Cold War, Henry Kissinger pointed out in his superb book on Diplomacy: He said, “None of the most important countries which must build a new world order have had any experience with the multistate system that is emerging. Never before has a new world order had to be assembled from so many different perceptions, or on so global a scale. Nor has any previous order had to combine the attributes of the historic balance-of-power system with global democratic opinion and the exploding technology of the contemporary period.” That was written in 1994 and it may be even more relevant today.
So this really is a time for American leadership, a time for fresh thinking, a time to cross party lines that divide and come together in the interest of our nation, a time to find ways to work together to maximize the impact of all America’s resources, including the great resource of this Committee and of the United States Senate.
If I am confirmed, one of the first things that I intend to do is to sit down with Senator Menendez and Senator Corker and invite all the Members of the Committee to come together, hopefully at a time where there is no interruption and we can actually really dig in and talk, and talk about how we can have a constructive dialogue and a collegial relationship because even as we pride ourselves on the separation of powers and the unique oversight role the Committee plays, the challenges in the world are so enormous that we would do our country a disservice if we did not identify the ways that we can help each other to confront a unique set of questions globally.
If you confirm me, I would take office as Secretary proud that the Senate is in my blood – but equally proud that so too is the Foreign Service. My father’s work under Presidents, both Democratic and Republican, took me and my siblings around the world for a personal journey that brought home the sacrifices and the commitment the men and women of the foreign service make every day on behalf of America. I wish everyone in the country could see and understand first-hand the devotion, loyalty and amazingly hard, and often dangerous work that the diplomats on the front lines do for our nation. Theirs is a service which earns our country an enormous return on investment. I will be proud and honored to represent them and I will work hard to augment our public diplomacy so that the story is told at home and abroad.
Everyone on this Committee knows well that the road ahead is tough. But I believe just as deeply that global leadership is a strategic imperative for America, it is not a favor we do for other countries. It amplifies our voice, it extends our reach. It is the key to jobs, the fulcrum of our influence, and it matters – it really matters to the daily lives of Americans. It matters that we get this moment right for America and it matters that we get it right for the world.Continued...