Friday, June 03, 2016

Hillary's Service as Secretary of State: A Failure of Leadership and a National Security Disaster

By Kenneth Eliasberg
In evaluating Hillary Clinton’s competence, a good place to start is to take a close look at her tour of duty as Secretary of State. Is the U.S. safer and/or held in higher regard around the world as a result of her efforts?
Perhaps it might be worthwhile to note why she got that appointment: Not because of either her acumen or experience. Rather it was Barack Obama extending the olive branch in order to bring a fractured Democratic Party together -- fractured because of a very heated and divisive Democrat primary.
That said, even a cursory examination of her service in this position yields up a resoundingly negative answer to that question.
As has already been frequently noted, her tour began with her screwing up the Russian reset button, and it ended with her Benghazi dereliction, leading to the death of 4 Americans. What happened in between these bookends, and what are the consequences of those happenings?
Let’s start with the Middle East, that boiling cauldron of infidel hatred. Syria, where, you may recall, President Obama drew a red line (apparently in invisible ink) should Assad use chemical weapons against the insurrectionists, is in chaos -- after Syria did use chemical weapons and Obama failed to act on his red line. And now, long after Obama declared the importance of taking down the Assad government, Russia is in the country, providing support for Assad remaining in power (and thereby providing the Russians with a Mediterranean access).
Note: Whenever I refer to Obama, I include Secretary Clinton, since she was the foreign policy czar as Secretary of State.  Also, ISIS (Obama’s designated jayvee) is heavily engaged in the area. But the most important news would seem to be Russia’s involvement, giving it a more important position on the world stage (as well as directly preventing Obama’s takedown of the Assad regime).
And here, one has to question the wisdom of taking down the Assad regime. Why? Because we have no idea of who or what would replace it. And, as our intervention in Libya demonstrated, when you create a vacuum in backward, barbarian regions, you set the stage for it to be filled by even more hostile forces.
And that is exactly what happened in Libya, where the Obama/Clinton team led (from behind) a coalition of forces to depose this petty tyrant who was no more a national security threat to the U.S. than was Somalia. Indeed, as soon as we invaded Iraq when George W. Bush was president, Gadhafi abandoned any nuclear ambitions that he may have entertained.
The pretext for Obama’s completely unnecessary action against Libya’s regime was that genocide was being committed by this dictator. On that basis, assuming that it was true, we could just as easily have invaded many other any Middle Eastern countries; there are no democracies in that region other than Israel. As a result of this completely unnecessary invasion, anarchy ensued; there was nothing resembling a government left when we finished.
The result? Benghazi and the death of 4 of America’s finest thanks to Hillary Clinton’s abdication of duty, another of her massive failures which she then endeavored to lie her way out of.
First, by claiming that the slaughter was the result of an anti-Muslim video (which she knew to be a lie at the time she uttered it), and then by arguing that there was no time to come to the rescue of these embattled agents of the U.S. As to the claim that her security people were responsible for not responding to Ambassador Steven’s requests for additional security – made many weeks before the slaughter – this boggles the mind.
At her Benghazi testimony she appeared to claim no responsibility for the actions of her security people -- as if they didn’t work for her. And not only was no one ever fired for this failure, Bill Clinton came out and produced some Clintonian malarkey to the effect that no predecessor had ever been responsible for the failure of the security personnel.
Hillary’s experience as secretary of state cannot be counted as a positive entry on her resume.
Experience does count.
This experience counts against her.