Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton warned that her opponent Republican nominee Donald Trump’s foreign policy would start a war, but it is Clinton who is largely responsible for starting a war in Libya.
Clinton claimed that Trump’s willingness to fire upon Iran’s navy for its multiple provocations against U.S. warships would irresponsibly start a war. That said, it is Clinton who is widely held responsible for being the persuasive voice in the White House that helped push President Barack Obama into supporting the ouster of Libyan Dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Gaddafi was a well-known international villain who supported terrorism and horrendous violations against his own people, but before he was violently dethroned and killed in the streets of Libya, he had reached a detente with the West. When the Arab Spring caught fire in 2011, several dictators were toppled across the Middle East, Gaddafi was one of them.
Before the U.S. got involved in the Libyan uprising, it was the United Kingdom and France who first got involved. Several junior aides in the Obama administration pushed for the president to be “on the right side of history,” but Obama remained hesitant.
Seeing an easy opportunity to secure her foreign policy legacy, Clinton tipped the scalesof a divided Obama administration in favor of air strikes in support of the rebels. She argued that the U.S. “will be left behind” if it does not get involved. By March 2011, the U.S. and NATO initiated Operation Odyssey Dawn, a massive air strike campaign which crippled Gaddafi’s regime.