Sunday, July 31, 2016

Hillary the Hawk: A History

The following excerpts are taken from the Foreign Policy article "Hillary the Hawk: A History"



>> From Haiti to Syria, the Democratic candidate’s long record suggests she’s looking forward to being a war president on day one.

[...] Unlike Donald Trump, who has wildly shifting positions and alleged “secret” plans to defeat the Islamic State, Clinton has an extensive track record upon which one can evaluate her likely positions. By any reasonable measure, Clinton qualifies as a hawk, if a nuanced one. Though she has opposed uses of force that she believed were a bad idea, she has consistently endorsed starting new wars and expanding others.

[...] In 2002, as a senator for New York, Clinton voted for the authorization for the use of military force in Iraq. In her accompanying floor statement, she claimed it was to ensure President George W. Bush was “in the strongest possible position to lead our country in the United Nations or in war” and to show Saddam Hussein that the country was united.

[...] In 2007 and 2008, Clinton strongly disagreed with then-Sen. Barack Obama about striking al Qaeda targets inside of Pakistan. Obama called such attacks “just common sense” if there were “actionable intelligence.” ... Whatever hesitation Clinton once had in attacking militants in Pakistan vanished upon being confirmed as secretary of state.

[...] In 2009, Clinton supported three-quarters of the Afghanistan surge. When Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, requested four brigades of additional U.S. troops in the summer of 2009, Clinton endorsed deploying three of them (equaling roughly 30,000 troops). Reportedly, “Clinton usually favored sending even more [troops] than [Secretary of Defense Robert] Gates did.” Obama eventually deployed 33,000 extra troops...

[...]  In 2011, Clinton was a strong proponent of regime change in Libya (as was Trump). It is forgotten today that a primary justification she offered for the U.S. military role in Libya was to pay back allies for Afghanistan. As she stated in late March 2011: “We asked our allies, our NATO allies, to go into Afghanistan with us 10 years ago... When it comes to Libya, we started hearing from the U.K., France, Italy, other of our NATO allies. This was in their vital national interest.” ...

[...]  In 2011, she endorsed the Navy SEAL raid into Abbottabad, Pakistan, that killed Osama bin Laden, even while recognizing that it would likely poison diplomatic relations with Pakistan for a short time...

[...] In 2012, she reportedly proposed to the White House — along with CIA Director David Petraeus — a covert program (apparently larger than the one later authorized) to provide arms to vetted Syrian rebel groups fighting Bashar al-Assad’s government...

[...] Outside of specific interventions, Clinton also supported muscular shows of force as secretary of state. New York Times reporter Mark Landler describes a July 2010 White House debate about rerouting the USS George Washington aircraft carrier from its normal cruise into the Yellow Sea... We’ve got to run it up the gut!’ she had said ... But Obama refused the request ... It bears noting that determining the aggressiveness by which the United States conducts freedom of navigation operations in maritime waters claimed by China will be a consequential call for the next president.

[...] I have spoken about Clinton with a handful of military officers, then stationed in Islamabad and Kabul ... They relayed that Clinton has an intimate understanding of military doctrine, Pentagon acronyms, and military planning principles and was not afraid to press senior commanders to clarify the “courses of action” and the intended “end state” of any given military intervention.

Should Hillary Clinton win the White House, the United States, already at war for 15 years, would be led by a president deeply aware and comfortable with the military... those who vote for her should know that she will approach such crises with a long track record of being generally supportive of initiating U.S. military interventions and expanding them. <<

(source: http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/07/27/hillary-the-hawk-a-history-clinton-2016-military-intervention-libya-iraq-syria/)

No comments: