The story of the day on the campaign trail is that Hillary Clinton is going to hit Donald Trump on foreign policy. According to the New York Times:
Hillary Clinton plans to deliver a scorching assessment of Donald J. Trump’s foreign policy prescriptions on Thursday, casting her likely Republican rival as a threat to decades of bipartisan tenets of American diplomacy and declaring him unfit for the presidency.
Mrs. Clinton’s campaign aides said the speech, which she will deliver in San Diego, would be the start of a persistent assault to portray a potential Trump presidency as a dangerous proposition that would weaken American alliances and embolden enemies.
Forgive me if I’m not up to taking cues on executing foreign policy from Hillary Clinton who, we should remember, counts the following among her ‘greatest hits’ in the foreign policy arena:
- Libya: Clinton and Obama helped in the overthrow of an ally in the War on Terror, left the country to burn, bungled the post-Gaddafi period, and directly contributed to the death of an American ambassador.
- Russia: Clinton bungled the ‘reset’ with Russia and then sat by as the country expanded its reach into the Caucuses, into Ukraine, and threatened US interests in the east of Europe and the Middle East.
- Iraq: The Bush administration had won the war in Iraq and the Obama-Clinton team managed to lose the peace. ISIS and the collapse of Syria was a direct result of that failure of diplomacy and leadership.
- Egypt: Clinton misread the Arab Spring in Egypt, managed to withdraw support for a positive transition, and paved the way for the Muslim Brotherhood to take over before yet another military backed coup.
- Iran: The Green Revolution in Iran could have succeeded with Clinton’s support and the backing of the US. Instead, the US stood on the sidelines, saw it crushed, and welcomed yet another term of Ahmadinejad.
- Asia: Clinton and Obama made the famous ‘Asia pivot’ in US interests but failed to adequately support either the forces and interests in the Asia-Pacific to contain China, nor maintain the forces and interests in Europe and the Middle East that were needed.
There is not a single achievement during Clinton’s time in office that she can look back on and claim to have played a significant and positive part in international geopolitics. The killing of Osama bin Laden aside, there is nothing for Hillary Clinton to celebrate as part of a highlight reel – and frankly, the amount of credit she deserves for that raid is questionable. She was ‘in the room’, that’s sure, but so was Vice President Biden and I suspect he knew as much or more about what was going on, why, and how that night in Pakistan.
Perhaps the most lasting contribution to American international relations that Clinton has made is the sharing of years of classified intelligence documents, briefings, and emails with enemies of the United States via her criminally negligent personal email arrangements. There’s a reason Russia, China, and Iran seemed a step ahead of the Obama administration for the entirety of her service at the Department of State, and that reason is Hillary Clinton.
If her strength is foreign policy then her strength ain’t all that impressive.