Before getting to those, its important to remember that then-Senator Hillary Clinton voted in favor of giving Bush/Cheney the green light on going to war with Iraq. Less discussed is her 2007 vote on a bill sponsored by Joe Lieberman that most believe would have allowed Bush/Cheney to invade Iran.
And now come the Gates revelations. We know by know that, while Gates claims to agree with the final decisions made by President Obama, he was seriously disturbed that Obama was suspicious of military leaders and questioned their motivations. Gates interprets that kind of civilian oversight as "controlling." And he says that Hillary Clinton joined him in that concern.
I never confronted Obama directly over what I (as well as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then-CIA Director Leon Panetta and others) saw as his determination that the White House tightly control every aspect of national security policy and even operations.Gates even goes on to suggest that Secretary Clinton was "offended" by this as much as he was. What we know from this and other sources is that during the whole discussion about Afghanistan, Secretary Clinton always came down on the side of military leaders over their disagreements with President Obama and VP Biden.
Whatever Petraeus did in the early weeks of 2011 to raise the ire of Obama in regard to the withdrawal [from Afghanistan] issue, it was against the backdrop of repeated indications that Petraeus was hoping to use both his alliances with Gates and Clinton and pressures from the Republicans in Congress to push back the previously agreed date for beginning withdrawal and handoff of responsibility to the Afghan government.Finally, we know that in the fall of 2012 at the height of the presidential campaign, Secretary Clinton once again teamed up with Petraeus to pressure President Obama to arm the Syrian rebels (Sen. McCain's bright idea as well).
Given free reign, all of this could have resulted not only in the useless war we waged in Iraq, but never-ending involvement in Afghanistan as well as potential war in Iran and Syria. The question becomes: will Hillary Clinton ever say "no" to the hawks?
During her last run for president, Hillary Clinton made much of her stature as the one who was most capable of answering that 3:00 am phone call about an anonymous crisis somewhere in the world. Five years later, we are beginning to have a glimpse into what her response might be. I'm not so sure it paints a pretty picture. At minimum, it raises a lot of questions about what kind of foreign policy president she would be.