By Bob Dorn
Hillary Clinton has abandoned the Democratic Party’s foreign policy for her own. She’s left behind the notion that the Middle Eastern conflict could be contained to that region and joined Republicans in their calls to expand our warfare.
“It cannot be contained; it must be defeated,” she recently said.
On November 19, she told The American Council on Foreign Relations, “(t)he United States has been conducting this fight for more than a year; it’s time to begin a new phase and intensify and broaden our efforts … if we press forward on both sides of the border, in the air, on the ground, and as well as diplomatically, I do believe we can crush ISIS’s enclave of terror.”
According to that story in The Guardian, she called for American troops to be embedded with Iraqi troops on front lines of the battles she envisions, and a notoriously difficult no-fly zone to be imposed over Syria. She said, “We have lots of work to do to really decimate ISIL in Iraq,” using ISIS’s alternative name.
So, while President Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry are predicting a cease-fire agreement with forces on the ground in Syria … Hillary Clinton is joining the Republican candidates and calling for the insertion of American ground troops.
This escalation of her rhetoric defies recent commentary from foreign policy professionals pointing out that the defeat several days ago of ISIS fighters who’d taken the northern Iraq city of Sinjar and similar battlefield victories in Syria has been partly responsible for a major shift in ISIS thinking; they have adapted to the loss of territory to a policy of world-wide terrorism, something that led to the downfall of Al Qaeda.
So, while President Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry are predicting a cease-fire agreement with forces on the ground in Syria (NYT, November 17, among many others, like PBS) Hillary Clinton is joining the Republican candidates and calling for the insertion of American ground troops.
As with all things Clintonian, she left herself an exit, reportedly insisting during post-speech questioning at the Council on Foreign Relations that her hawkish flight away from Obama’s policy was simply an “intensification and acceleration” of it (The Guardian, Nov. 19). But, as The Guardian points out, “the president deliberately sought to pre-empt some of Clinton’s suggestions—such as a no-fly zone in Syria—during (earlier) remarks at the G20 this week, in which he said US experts had examined such options and decided they would be counterproductive.”
Both the President and his present Secretary of State … have signaled a willingness to join forces with Russia to aid local tribes and other anti-ISIS forces in Syria. Instead, Hillary Clinton is pushing for a go-it-alone American expansion of the war.
So Clinton’s address comes at a very delicate time for the Democrats. Both the President and his present Secretary of State, have not only predicted a cease-fire for the area, they also have signaled a willingness to join forces with Russia to aid local tribes and other anti-ISIS forces in Syria.
Instead, Hillary Clinton is pushing for a go-it-alone American expansion of the war. This is not a subtle difference. It’s the difference between unilateral warfare and multi-lateral cooperation against terrorism. This is not a well-thought-out policy. It seems more like a political campaign move, a bit of macho in hopes of attracting some presidential votes away from the Republicans.
At any rate, events on the ground in Syria may soon prove this gambit of the Hillary campaign to be moot and pointless, a trifling idea worthy of Jeb! and Cruz and her real opponents.