Clinton’s ‘Muscular’ Foreign-Policy Manifesto

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Photo: Everett Bogue; Photos: Getty Images, istockphoto

In a speech this afternoon at the Council on Foreign Relations, Hillary Clinton will take the opportunity to make it clear to the world that though the Obama administration may try to finesse America's way into better relations with the rest of the world, it doesn't mean we've forgotten how to exert our strength. "We will remain clear-eyed about our purpose," she will say, according to a transcript obtained by Politico, which called the address "muscular." "Not everybody in the world wishes us well or shares our values and interests," she continued. "Some will seek to undermine our efforts. In those cases, our partnerships will help constrain or deter their actions." To the people who would be America's foes, she had this to say:

"And to these foes and would-be foes, let me say: You should know that our focus on diplomacy and development is not an alternative to our national security arsenal. You should never see America’s willingness to talk as a sign of weakness to be exploited. We will not hesitate to defend our friends and ourselves vigorously when necessary with the world’s strongest military. This is not an option we seek. Nor is it a threat; it is a promise to the American people."


In her sweeping address on Obama's and her foreign-policy agenda, she listed the following goals: to isolate terrorists, counter extremism, reach out to Muslims, pursue economic recovery, expand trade, achieve peace in the Middle East, combat climate change, support democracies, and stand up for human rights. You know, the easy stuff. As ambitious as this sounded, she issued a stern reminder to the rest of the world, which will likely be the speech's takeaway: "Just as no nation can meet these challenges alone, no challenge can be met without America."

Muscular indeed.

Clinton: 'Clear-eyed' handling of foes [Politico]