Transcript: Hillary Clinton on combating the spread of terrorism in North Africa

Transcribed and edited by Jenny Jiang

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on combating the spread of terrorism in North Africa. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the attacks against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya was held on Jan. 23, 2013:

I’m very proud of the work we did with African nations to stand up, financially support and train the AMISOM that has driven Al Shabaab out of the dominant position that it had. That meant putting American trainers, working with the Ugandans, Burundis, Djobutis, eventually Kenya, advising some other countries that were willing to put in assets.

It took money. It took time. But we just recognized the new Somali government, which could never have been possible without American support and multilateralism. Because the U.N. was strongly behind it, we got other nations to invest.

What we’re looking at now in West Africa is to try to help support an African AU West, ECOWAS supported troop combination from a number of countries to really take the lead against the terrorists in northern Mali.

Again, this is hard. If the United States comes in and does something on our own…nobody can match us in military assets and prowess.

But a lot of the challenges we face are not immediately or sustainably solved by military action alone.

Therefore, we’ve got to get countries in the region to increase their border security, to increase their anti-terrorist, counter-terrorist efforts inside their own borders.

We have a lot to do now in West Africa. So I think you’re right to point out the United States has to play a role but it needs to be part of a multilateral effort in order to have a chance at success.

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