Views on Terrorism, Iraq and Homeland Security:
War on Terrorism:
In November, Clinton gave a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on the need for the United States to take an actively internationalist, rather than isolationist stance. By supporting "internationalism," Clinton indicated her support for working with other countries to solve problems such as terrorism, rather than seeking to solve them alone or retreating from foreign entanglements.
Clinton has argued that in order to win the war on terrorism, a concerted effort to prepare the entire country for interactions with foreign cultures must be made. She has advocated an increase in "civilian capacity" through global education and the creation of a public service academy --"a West Point for public service"—to create a more prepared civilian population.
War in Iraq:
Clinton outlined her views about how to address the Iraq war in an address to the Senate on February 7, 2007. As in previous statements, Clinton focuses heavily on the responsibilities the Iraqi government must take to reduce violence and continue to receive American help. Her proposals included:
- Capping the number of troops in Iraq, and requiring Congressional approval for additional troops.
- Requiring the Iraqi government to ensure its security forces are free of "sectarian" and "militia" influence as a condition for receiving American funds to train them.
- Clinton would require that equipment and training for troops be certified by the Secretary of Defense before troop increases were approved by Congress.
- Requiring the Bush Administration to fulfill conditions in order to maintain Congressional approval. Said Clinton:
My bill requires the Bush Administration to certify that Iraq has disarmed the militias; has ensured ... equitable sharing of oil revenues; ...has made the constitutional changes necessary to ensure rights for minority communities; that the de-Baathification process has been reversed ....I would also require the Administration to engage in a regional diplomatic initiative including all of Iraq's neighbors to address Iraq's future....
War in Afghanistan:
In a November, 2006 address to the Council on Foreign Relations, Clinton turned her attention to the war in Afghanistan:
Now, we talk a great deal about Iraq and not enough about Afghanistan, where our failures have squandered much of what our military accomplished and limited the reach and positive impact of President Karzai's moderate, democratic government. Three years ago, when I was here, I told the Council about meeting a soldier in Afghanistan who greeted me with these words; "Welcome to the forgotten front line in the war on terror."
Well today, we have senior NATO military officials predicting that the country could fall back to the Taliban in six months. Use of suicide bombings and other terror tactics is on the rise. Afghanistan is now responsible for 87 percent of the world's opium production. And a quote making the rounds in Kabul sums the situation up nicely: a Taliban commander supposedly boasted to his captors that "you have watches, but we have time."
Clinton's efforts to improve Homeland Security have been made at the national level and on behalf of New York, which she represents in the Senate.
Clinton has focused repeatedly in her tenure as Senator on the need for increased and better intelligence collection, on improving emergency response systems, and on making sure that homeland security grants are issued to states on the basis of the threats they face.