Washington: US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday said that America's counter-terrorism policy, including drone strikes, was ‘legal and effective’ as it has not only eliminated militants, but also disrupted several terror plots.
    
At the same time, he asserted that the US would still prefer to detain and prosecute terrorists and would resort to lethal actions only to save lives of people.
    
"Despite our first preference for detention and prosecution of terrorists - that's our first preference - sometimes, lethal action is necessary in order to protect US lives, and we are convinced of the legality as well as the soundness of the basis for making that determination," Kerry said in defense of his country's drone policy.
    
Last week, President Barack Obama discussed why the use of drone strikes is necessary, legal and just while addressing the various issues that are raised by direct action.
    
"Clearly our actions are effective because dozens of highly trained, skilled al-Qaida commanders, trainers, bomb makers and operatives have been taken off the battlefield," Kerry said in a joint news conference with his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle.
    
"The fact is that plots have been disrupted before they were able to be carried out and those strikes have saved lives. So our actions are legal. We were attacked on 9/11. Within a week the United States Congress overwhelmingly authorized the use of force. Under domestic law and international law, the United States is at war with al-Qaida and the Taliban and their associated forces. So this is a just effort, and it is a war that is waged proportionately, and in the last resort, it is in self-defense," Kerry said.

(Agencies)

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