Dealing with al-Qaida franchises will be a challenge for President Obama's new foreign policy team. Senator John Kerry is the nominee for Secretary of State and so wants to part of that team and yesterday he faced a confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which, in recent years, he has lead.


Kerry spoke of a very real threat posed by the growing strength of al-Qaida in North and West Africa. His testimony served as a reminder, though, that it's just one of many concerns from climate change to the war in Syria to Iran.

SENATOR JOHN KERRY: 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.

INSKEEP: Kerry also defended the president's choice for another position. He told the committee that former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel would be a strong Secretary of Defense.

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