Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was taken to task by her opponent Gov. Martin O’Malley and pundits at last week’s Democratic debate when she claimed America did not have the “bulk of the responsibility” in the campaign against terrorism. “This is not America’s fight,” she said. Thursday in New York, during a hearing at the Council on Foreign Relations, the former Secretary of State appeared to change her tone, saying the U.S. does have a leading role in the counter terror struggle.
“We must choose resolve and we must lead the world to meet this threat,” she said.
Her comments come in the aftermath of the carnage in Paris.
“Now it’s our turn to stand in solidarity with France,” Clinton began. “We cherish the same values.”
Beyond Paris, she continued, we’ve seen attacks elsewhere such as the downed Russian jet, which appeared to also have been the work of ISIS.
“We have to break the group’s momentum and eventually its back,” she continued.
“Our goal is not to contain ISIS, but to defeat and destroy ISIS,” she said. “We also have to play and win the long game. We should pursue a comprehensive counter terror strategy.”
“It will require sustained commitment,” she said. “America must lead it.”
She outlined America’s three-point strategy:
1. Defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
2. Dismantle terror infrastructure.
3. Harden our defenses and those of our allies against external and homegrown threats.
Clinton went into more detail about her proposed counter terror plan. The goal, she said, should be to achieve penetration. A more effective air campaign is necessary, but “not sufficient.” Ground forces must be deployed, she insisted, yet not to the extent of 100,000 troops as in recent past.
“That is just not the smart move to make here,” she said. “Local people have to secure their own communities, …We cannot substitute for them.”
“The time for delay is over, we should get this done.”