“Probably failing to plan for the day after what I think was the right thing to do in intervening in Libya,” Obama told host Chris Wallace.
Obama has asserted numerous times that his failure to anticipate the turmoil following the United States’ military excursion into Libya that helped topple the authoritarian government as a source of deep regret.
Obama said in an interview with The Atlantic: “We averted large-scale civilian casualties, we prevented what almost surely would have been a prolonged and bloody civil conflict. And despite all that, Libya is a mess.”
“Mess” is a professionally civil word used by the president in describing Libya’s situation. Privately, Obama appropriately terms the fallout a “sh*t show.”
However, Democratic presidential candidate (and Obama’s chosen successor) Clinton touts America’s intervention into Libya as one of her major accomplishments while serving as secretary of state.
The president’s regret highlights a crucial divide among the pair’s governing styles. Clinton lauds her foreign policy experience as a chief qualification for president, yet her hard-lined militaristic approach stands in stark contrast to Obama’s softer diplomatic decision-making and the favored avenue for most Democrats. Former president Jimmy Carter encapsulated this sentiment in an interview with TIME magazine, stating, “When Secretary Clinton was Secretary of State, she took very little action to bring about peace. It was only John Kerry’s coming into office that reinitiated all these very important and crucial issues.”
The former secretary of state claims she will cement Obama’s legacy, but her previous policy actions suggest otherwise.
Banner image credit: Twitter user @RollingStone