Last week, this author dissected the foreign policy of presumed Republican presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump. This week, it is Hillary Clinton’s turn, since she is the likely Democratic nominee.
Hillary Clinton presents an interesting phenomenon when it comes to examining her professed—and practiced—foreign policy. For starters, she is a Democrat. In American politics, that places her squarely within the party that often comes down on the side of “peace,” and in favor of diplomacy over military action. Often, but not always. After all, Democratic presidents have attempted to overthrow governments (Cuba), have escalated wars (Vietnam), and have supported armed interventions (Libya). So, perhaps that is an antiquated view of the American left.
Despite being a Democrat, Mrs. Clinton is often referred to as a “hawk,” usually by Republicans or more left-leaning Democrats, seeking to disparage her. This is an accurate label, as far as this author is concerned. Mrs. Clinton has, after all, advocated armed regime change (in Libya and Iraq), and more often than not, has reportedly come down on the side of military action in debates within the Obama administration foreign-policy team. Calling her a “hawk” is not unfair.
If we are seeking to clarify her views on foreign policy, though, we must first stipulate that being labeled a Democratic “hawk” does not imply the same thing as being called a “hawk” within the Republican party. And, of course, neither of those labels is the same as “aggressive isolationist,” along the lines of Donald J. Trump, the current GOP nominee.