Speaking in Washington, Britain's new international development secretary emphasized the importance of using soft powers like diplomacy in the struggle against terrorism, The Telegraph reported Friday.
Douglas Alexander told the Council on Foreign Relations that Britain and the United States need to form new alliances that reach out to the rest of the world.
"In the 20th century a country's might was too often measured in what they could destroy," Alexander said. "In the 21st century, strength should be measured by what we can build together."
Alexander, a close ally of new British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, said if the West wants to ensure security, it must fight poverty, trade imbalances and climate change along with terrorism.
He added that intervention can be justified in some cases but it must be driven by "core values, not special interests."