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If confirmed, Hagel said he will continue to focus on defeating al-Qaeda and its associated forces around the world.
Hagel said he is very concerned about the threat that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) poses to the US.
"AQAP has attempted at least three attacks on the United States since December 2009, and in my view fully intends to attack again... AQAP is also attempting to recruit and radicalise would-be terrorists in the West through its extensive media outreach," he said.
Noting that the US shares the French goal of denying al-Qaeda in the lands of the Islamic Maghreb and other terrorists a safe haven in the region, Hagel said he agrees with the Administration's decision to support the French mission without deploying US combat forces on the ground.
He said the US at present is confronted with a myriad of challenges stemming from an ever more complex global environment.
"The next Secretary of Defense will be confronted with a myriad of challenges stemming from an ever more complex global environment. Some of the challenges we know today, but many will continue to unfold as we conclude over ten years at war and look to the future of our military posture," Hagel said.
He said in an ever changing world with both state and non-state actors developing non-traditional tools of war, the United States will be challenged by technological advancements that bring the battlefield to both space and cyberspace.
Hagel said that as the United States begins to rebalance to the Asia Pacific region, his Department will be faced by new challenges in this vital part of the world.
"Piracy, maritime security, disaster relief efforts and of course, continued vigilance to terrorism and proliferation of nuclear weapons name just a few known challenges," he said.
Hagel said the United States must be prepared for any contingency it may face in the coming years all while doing so in the confines of this austere budget environment.
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