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Clinton Called Out By Her Former Policy Director For Lack Of Foresight On Libya

- August 20, 2015

Anne Marie Slaughter: Clinton Toppled The Libyan Government "Without Any Idea Of What Might Come Next." "It takes a tough person, and a tough nation, to accept the reality of limited power. It is so much easier to pound our chests and declare that the United States bestrides the world like a colossus and should be able to dictate any outcome it wants. That is no longer true, if it ever were. We found that out the hard way by launching a war in Iraq that we could not win. By prolonging a war in Afghanistan in ways that often made the domestic political situation worse rather than better. By toppling a government in Libya without any idea of what might come next." (Anne Marie Slaughter, Op-Ed, "War With Iran Is The Only Alternative To A Deal," USA Today, 8/20/15)

  • Slaughter Served As Director Of Policy Planning Under Then-Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton. "Former HLS faculty member Anne-Marie Slaughter '85 is the new director of policy planning at the U.S. State Department. She will provide Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton with strategic policy analysis aimed at advancing U.S. interests around the world." ("Anne-Marie Slaughter '85 Appointed Director Of Policy Planning At State Department," Harvard Law Today , 2/11/09)

Clinton Owns The U.S. Intervention In Libya That Has Left The Country Worse Off Today

The 2011 Military Intervention Into Libya Was Initially Seen As A Foreign Policy Success For Clinton. "Seven months later, with longtime U.S. nemesis Moammar Gaddafi dead and Libya's onetime rebels now in charge, the coalition air campaign has emerged as a foreign policy success for the Obama administration and its most famous Cabinet member, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton." (Joby Warrick, "Hillary's War: How Conviction Replaced Skepticism In Libya Intervention," The Washington Post , 10/30/11)

  • "When He [Gaddafi] Was Toppled, She Thought It Would Be Her Signature Achievement As Secretary Of State. Yet As That Country Has Disintegrated Into Chaos, It's No Longer A Point Of Emphasis." "On Libya, she gets a bum rap from Republicans who hold her responsible for the killing of Americans in Benghazi two years ago. But she was the champion of American intervention in Libya to overthrow Muammar Qaddafi. When he was toppled, she thought it would be her signature achievement as secretary of state. Yet as that country has disintegrated into chaos, it's no longer a point of emphasis." (Albert M. Hunt, Op-Ed, "Calculating Hillary Gets The Math Wrong," Bloomberg, 8/12/14)

According To An Administration Official, Clinton Was A "Strong Advocate" For U.S. Intervention In Libya. "By March 15, when Clinton spoke with Obama by phone to brief him on the meetings, she had become a 'strong advocate' for U.S. intervention, one administration official said. The president, who had been weighing arguments from a sharply divided Cabinet for several days, sided with his secretary of state." (Joby Warrick, "Hillary's War: How Conviction Replaced Skepticism In Libya Intervention," The Washington Post , 10/30/11)

Libya Now Finds Itself "In A Worse Situation Than It Was Under Gaddafi." "This government wants to make its case to the world and project Libya as a safe place - but the country doesn't feel safe, correspondent Leila Fadel tells NPR's Scott Simon. …In fact, the country is in a worse situation than it was under Gadhafi, Fadel says. Militias, divided by region, by ideology, by tribe, now divide Libya, controlling what are essentially a series of city-states." ("Four Years After Revolution, Libya Slides Into Chaos," NPR, 1/31/15)

  • "Very Few Diplomatic Missions Still Operate In Tripoli, The U.S. Presence Is Gone And The City Has No Centralized Security Force." ("Four Years After Revolution, Libya Slides Into Chaos," NPR, 1/31/15)

ISIS Has Also Found A "Fertile Environment In Libya." "The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) flourished in the vacuum created by the civil war in Syria. More recently it has found a similarly fertile environment in Libya." (Vivienne Walt, "How ISIS Sprung Up In Libya," Time , 2/26/15)


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