Hilary Clinton delivered a speech on Wednesday at Stanford University that addressed national security concerns and emphasized her leadership over the other Republican presidential candidates whom she criticized one day after two deadly terrorist attacks in Brussels rekindled terrorist fears in the West.
During her speech, Clinton addressed the topic of Islamic State in the Middle East and said that it would also be a “serious mistake” to begin carpet bombing populated areas into oblivion which she said in reference to an earlier proposal that Republican candidate Ted Cruz had made in the past.
“Proposing that doesn’t make you look tough, it makes you sound like you are in over your head” Clinton said.
“Slogans aren’t a strategy, loose canons tend to misfire. What America needs is strong, smart, steady leadership to wage and win the struggle” Clinton added.
Clinton came out in full support of NATO, calling it “one of the best investments ever made” and “one of the most successful alliance in history” which comes in sharp contrast to waning support for NATO and a non-interventionist mindset from Republican candidate Donald Trump who recently said on Bloomberg’s With All Due Respect T.V. program that he would weigh whether NATO is still relevant.
Trump told the Washington Post editorial team this week that he is concerned about the costs of NATO and said that the U.S. might need to reduce its involvement in NATO in coming years.
“We certainly can’t afford to do this anymore” Trump told the Washington Post editorial team.
Clinton suggested in her Wednesday speech that a Trump presidency would be a nice gift for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Putin already hopes to divide Europe. If Mr. Trump gets his way, it will be like Christmas in the Kremlin” Clinton said.
Combatting Radical Jihad
Clinton called for greater cooperation with the Muslim community, saying they are a “crucial line of defense” against terrorism and rebuked a plan that Ted Cruz recently made after Tuesday’s terrorist attack in Brussels that includes racial profiling and empowering law enforcement in the U.S. with a patrol to secure Muslim neighborhoods.
“So when Republican candidates like Ted Cruz call for treating American Muslims like criminals, and for racial profiling predominately Muslim neighborhoods, it’s wrong, it’s counter-productive, it’s dangerous” Clinton said.
Torture and Surveillance
Clinton insisted that we know based on a lot of empirical evidence that torture doesn’t work.
“I’m proud to have been part of the Administration that banned torture after too many years in which we had lost our way” Clinton said.
Following the terrorist attacks in Brussels, Clinton was interviewed on CNN and explained that the U.S. must increase its “surveillance” and “interception of communication” to stop terrorist attacks on soft targets.
“We have to also toughen, as you say, ‘soft targets’ with greater police presence—there is no getting around that” Clinton told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
On Monday, Clinton spoke before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and criticized Trump’s foreign policy views and lack of consistency over Israel’s security.
Clinton insisted that Israel’s security is “non-negotiable” and took a swipe at Donald Trump’s mercurial views about Israel.
“Yes, we need steady hands, not a president who says he’s neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday, and who knows what on Wednesday, because everything’s negotiable” Clinton said.