Hillary Clinton ISIS Speech: 8 Quotes From Candidate's Pro-War Address, Call For More 'Boots On The Ground'

hillary clinton
Hillary Clinton talks about Syria during an event at the White House in Washington, September 9, 2013. Following terrorist attacks in Paris in November, 2015, the presidential candidate has called for more boots on the ground in countries where the organization operation operates. She told reporters that she had urged more military action in Syria as Barack Obama’s Secretary of State. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

A few days before the ISIS-led attacks in France that killed 120 people, Latino media noticed a hawkish tone in an off-the-cuff remark by Hillary Clinton in response to question about border security. In her response, Clinton argued that military aid through Plan Colombia ultimately created a “success story” in that country, and that it prevented an influx of migrants to the U.S. In the wake of the terrorist attacks on France, Clinton is bringing her pro-war foreign policy approach to the forefront.

On Thursday, the former Secretary of State addressed the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, delivering a major policy address on combatting ISIS. We’re relying on a transcript from Time, which you can read in full here.

She told her audience to be prepared to put more U.S. troops on the ground in Middle Eastern conflict zones. Clinton also called for the U.S. to arm and fund Middle Eastern partners, some that she named (Turkey, Israel). Some of the partners were not names, such as like Egypt, where a 1.3 billion dollar aid package is expected to be passed despite concerns over human rights abuses, Reuters reports.

1) To support [Syrians], we should immediately deploy the special operations force President Obama has already authorized, and be prepared to deploy more as more Syrians get into the fight. [...] Our increased support should go hand in hand with increased support from our Arab and European partners, including special forces who can contribute to the fight on the ground.

Calls for direct and indirect support of ground forces peppered Clinton’s speech. However, she tempered her remarks by saying that she wouldn’t want U.S. troops deployed at the scale of other recent conflicts.

2) I do not believe that we should again have 100,000 American troops in combat in the Middle East. That is just not the smart move to make here. If we have learned anything from 15 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s that local people and nations have to secure their own communities.

Throughout the speech, Hillary appeared to be hedging between a call for boost on the ground and the current no-muss, no-fuss, low-American casualty strategy of air strikes. Someone, she argued, would have to send troops whether it is Syrian rebels or U.S. coalition partners

3) A more effective coalition air campaign is necessary, but not sufficient, and we should be honest about the fact that to be successful, airstrikes will have to be combined with ground forces actually taking back more territory from ISIS.

As a former Secretary of State well-versed on national security issues, Clinton is increasingly well-positioned to win what could become a national security election. In the wake of the Paris attacks, it’s unclear of her rivals can compete.

Will Bernie Sanders be able to keep voters focused on economic inequality, or will pro-military arguments win the day? Will Martin O’Malley gain any traction as the “generational alternative” or will Hillary’s foreign policy experience make liberal institutions throw their weight behind her, as the SEIU did this week?

4) The obsession in some quarters with a clash of civilization, or repeating the specific words radical Islamic terrorism isn’t just a distraction, it gives these criminals, these murderers more standing than they deserve.

Clinton is still taking a softer tone than her Republican adversaries. But by calling for more troops on the ground and more fighter jets in the air, she might feel a backlash from dovish Democratic voters.

But it’s not just anti-war hippies that might be concerned by her ISIS speech. Libertarians might cringe at domestic hawkishness. As part of the fight against ISIS, Clinton called for Silicon valley to keep smartphones open to government wiretapping.

5) We should take the concerns of law enforcement and counterterrorism professionals seriously. They have warned that impenetrable encryption may prevent them from accessing terrorist communications and preventing a future attack. On the other hand, we know there are legitimate concerns about government intrusion, network security, and creating new vulnerabilities that bad actors can and would exploit. So we need Silicon Valley not to view government as its adversary. We need to challenge our best minds in the private sector to work with our best minds in the public sector to develop solutions that will both keep us safe and protect our privacy.

Clinton also called for a no-fly zone to be instituted in Syria. She told reporters after her speech that such a measure worked in Iraq.

6) We have a no-fly zone over northern Iraq for years to protect the Kurds. And it proved to be successful, not easy — it never is — but I think now is the time for us to revisit those plans.

Before the Paris attacks, Sanders disagreed, saying that he was against military escalation that might “lead to a never-ending U.S. entanglement in that region." Sanders has repeatedly criticized Clinton for voting to empower George W. Bush ahead of the Iraq war. She has repeatedly apologized for the vote, saying that it was a mistake.

Clinton has not acknowledged the human rights violations committed by the Colombian government as part of Plan Colombia. Paramilitary organizations reportedly with U.S. funding were found to have killed up hundreds and possibly thousands of innocent bystanders, dress them up as Marxist rebels, and report them as fighters to meet performance quotas.

7) We should not stop pressing until Turkey, where most foreign fighters cross into Syria, finally locks down its border.

Hillary has frequently connected militaristic approaches to migration, border security, and war in recent weeks. In her “Plan Colombia” speech, she also referred to “illegal immigrants,” and touted her record on border security.

What does it mean that Clinton’s remarks on Turkish borders focus on fighters trying to get in to Syria, not on refugees that are trying to get out? Dovish voters take note, however: Clinton sounds pretty presidential when she’s talking about ISIS.

8) No other country can rally the world to defeat ISIS and win the generational struggle against radical jihadism. Only the United States can mobilize common action on a global scale, and that’s exactly what we need. The entire world must be part of this fight, but we must lead it.

 

What do you think?