News / USA

Hillary Clinton Issues Foreign Policy Memoir: 'Hard Choices'

Hillary Clinton Issues Foreign Policy Memoir: 'Hard Choices'i
X
Scott Stearns
June 06, 2014 11:23 PM
Hillary Clinton on June 10 releases a memoir of her time as Barack Obama's first-term secretary of state. It's an opportunity to put her stamp on her record as America's top diplomat ahead of a possible run for the presidency in 2016. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.
Hillary Clinton has released a memoir of her time as President Barack Obama's first-term secretary of state. It's an opportunity to put her stamp on her record as America's top diplomat ahead of a possible run for the presidency in 2016.

Clinton said she had a team of researchers to help with the diplomatic biography Hard Choices, but the final story is hers alone.

"I had to take responsibility for every word. I had to be the one who decided how I wanted to describe a situation, how I thought it fit in to my overall view about where America is in the 21st century," she said.

As secretary, she carried abroad Obama's message of change from the diplomacy of former President George W. Bush.

Public record

U.S. Institute of Peace analyst Steve Heydemann said, "I think she certainly succeeded in communicating to both publics and governments around the world that the Obama administration, when it comes to matters of foreign policy, is the anti-Bush, that there is a commitment to consultation, that there is a commitment to working through international institutions."

That made her Washington's most-traveled secretary of state, but limited individual diplomatic gains, according to American Enterprise Institute analyst Michael Auslin.

"The general rap on Clinton is that she really accomplished very little in her time as secretary of state, despite all of the frenetic, non-stop flying around the world. The one area that they could claim at least a policy break with the Bush administration was in Asia," said Auslin.

Clinton helped direct the Obama administration's so-called Asia Pivot of diplomatic, commercial, and military resources.

But Auslin said that pivot has withered under greater Chinese claims to disputed waters.

"Very little is being done to materially affect what is happening in the region, i.e., the territorial disputes and coercion and the like. So I think that she can make a claim that, 'We had the better idea.'I don't think she can make the claim that, 'We had the better outcome,'" said Auslin.

Clinton said her biggest regret is the 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. In her book, she said some "exploit" that attack as a political tool.

Clinton testimony

Clinton's Senate testimony on Benghazi was the most contentious of her tenure.

Republican Senator John McCain said, "There are many questions that are unanswered. And the answers, frankly, that you have given this morning are not satisfactory to me."

As she does now, Clinton then focused on bringing to justice those responsible.

"The fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they would go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again," said Clinton.

Popular uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East were diplomatic opportunities missed, said Heydemann.

"Nothing that Hillary Clinton did while she was in office really changed the perceptions of the U.S. within the Arab world, at least, where our popularity continues to be pretty low," he said.

On the war in Syria, Heydemann said that Clinton pushed for a harder line than the president. "Everything that we know about Secretary Clinton's tenure in office suggests that she was an advocate for more direct engagement by the U.S. in Syria, and that she supported efforts for example to provide weapons to vetted elements of the armed opposition."

Heydemann said the president may have been better served by taking Clinton's advice on Syria, a diplomatic difference she may use to distinguish herself from the president if she runs for the White House herself in 2016.

You May Like

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Steve
June 07, 2014 2:38 PM
Diplomatic opportunities missed, well that's easy to say, but for those folks in Zimbabwe, who were looking to the USA for help, none was forthcoming it was all but too obvious, they were "abandoned" and no visit was made?

by: Elena from: romania
June 07, 2014 12:09 PM
Once upon a time the latin poet Ovidiu wrote:
And the face you show to us never sleep with you.
and I think it is true for this lady too.

by: james george from: 81419
June 06, 2014 9:24 PM
"stupid choices" or "no choices" would be better titles.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More