April 15, 2016

Secretary Clinton Can’t Escape Her Failed Foreign Policy

During last night’s debate, Secretary Clinton tried to separate herself from President Obama’s disastrous foreign policy. But a number of issues in the news this week demonstrate how much blame Clinton herself bears for the instability and unrest around the globe right now.

1. The New Yorker took on Clinton’s “reformer,” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, discussing “a four-hundred-page legal brief that links the systematic torture and murder of tens of thousands of Syrians to a written policy approved by President Bashar al-Assad …” The New Yorker report further contradicted Secretary Clinton’s claim that Assad was a “different leader” than his authoritarian father, commenting that Assad has sought to “suppress dissent in the brutal tradition of his father, Hafez al-Assad.”

2. And yesterday, the day of the debate, was an altogether disastrous day for Secretary Clinton’s foreign policy. First, Foreign Policy’s Robin Simcox destroyed Clinton’s push for European “intelligence sharing”:

“The problem is ‘more intelligence sharing’ isn’t a serious proposal, so much as a well-worn cliché. It’s no accident that every previous vow to improve the situation has led to nothing.

3. In an article for The Daily Beast titled “How Hillary Helped Ruin Haiti,” St. Joseph College Journalism and New Media Chair Theodore Hamm destroyed Secretary Clinton’s efforts in Haiti. Hamm condemned Secretary Clinton’s intervention in the 2010 Haiti election and assailed the unfulfilled promises of the Clinton Foundation’s failed Caracol Industrial Park project.

4. That same day, FiveThirtyEight’s Catherine Putz and Shannon Tiezzi added fuel to the fire and called out Secretary Clinton’s weak and unfilled Asia Pivot:

The idea that the rebalance is not living up to expectations continues to dog the Obama administration. A congressionally commissioned study of U.S. defense policy in Asia, released in January by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, expressed concern that the rebalance, in practice, isn’t enough to defend U.S. interests in Asia.

5. Finally, despite ISIS’ expansion in Libya, Clinton biographer Kim Ghattas pointed out that Clinton “… does not see the Libya intervention as a failure, but as a work in progress.” Secretary Clinton’s unwillingness to acknowledge the failure of her Libya intervention made itself apparent at the debate last night when, after being confronted by President Obama’s belief that not preparing for after the Libya intervention was “the worst mistake in office that he made,” Clinton stood by her failed policy.

6. Rounding out a week highlighting Secretary Clinton’s failed foreign policy was the second anniversary of the mass kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls by the terrorist group, Boko Haram. The group has wreaked havoc on Nigeria and its population, including a recent large increase in the use of child suicide bombers, was a stark reminder of Secretary Clinton’s failure to take action when she was Secretary of State and designate the group as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

Although Secretary Clinton has been “more or less ignoring foreign policy in the primary,” she cannot hide from her failed record forever. One thing is clear: Secretary Clinton owns the disastrous Clinton-Obama foreign policy.