Does Hillary have a ‘Libya problem?’
The word you might be thinking is “Benghazi,” but that’s only part of the story in this piece from CNN. The narrative doesn’t sort out well for the former Secretary of State when it comes to the decisions made in deposing Muammar Gaddafi, and the resulting anarchy which has reigned in Libya since that time.
Report from CNN:
Hillary Clinton has another Libya problem.
She’s already grappling with the political headaches from deleted emails and from the terror attack that left four Americans dead in Benghazi.
But she’ll face a broader challenge in what’s become of the North African country since, as secretary of state in 2011, she was the public face of the U.S. intervention to push out its longtime strongman, Moammar Gadhafi.
Libya’s lapse into the chaos of failed statehood has provided a breeding ground for terror and a haven for groups such as ISIS. Its plight is also creating an opening for Republican presidential candidates to question Clinton’s strategic acumen and to undermine her diplomatic credentials, which will be at the center of her pitch that only she has the global experience needed to be president in a turbulent time.
Gathering questions over Libya also point to one of the central complications of Clinton’s campaign for the Democratic nomination, due to formally launch on Saturday: the fact that she must own a record at the State Department that lacks clear-cut diplomatic triumphs. She’ll also have to answer for misfires in the Obama administration’s wider foreign policy as GOP candidates who have not faced the same tough choices can nitpick her record with the advantage of hindsight.
Libya has long been a vulnerability for Clinton because of the deaths of U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in an attack on the Benghazi consular building and a CIA installation on September 11, 2012.
But Republicans have yet to prove that she was personally negligent or to convince voters that she’s not fit for higher office because of the controversy. So now they’re opening a new front on the wisdom of the intervention itself.
Discussions over the Iraq War are well and good, but that is a foreign policy debate which we’ve been having for over a decade now. Mrs. Clinton’s Republican opponents will want to focus on the present and, specifically, on foreign policy decisions during President Obama’s term in which Hillary was a central player. She’ll be running on her qualifications as someone knowledgeable about how the world works. According to CNN, she has many weaknesses in this area that will come out during the course of the campaign.