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25 Dec, 2008 01:21

Hillary hints at foreign interference

Concern is growing in diplomatic circles that incoming US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, could be trying to steer the Obama administration towards a policy of overseas military intervention – similar to that pursued by Bill Clinton when h

Hillary Clinton has already begun making moves to expand the power of the State Department by recruiting envoys, some of whom served under Bill Clinton.

During Bush’s administration there was little use of special envoys. But Hillary Clinton is set to revive the practice, where diplomats could play an important role in mediating conflicts in the Middle East and the Balkans.

The Democratic Party’s foreign policy adviser has reportedly said that Richard Holbrooke might be considered as special envoy to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and possibly Iran. However, no decision has yet been made.

Holbrooke was US Ambassador to Germany in 1993-94. He was Assistant Secretary of State for European affairs and then United States Ambassador to the United Nations under President Bill Clinton.

Holbrooke was Clinton's chief “enforcer” in the Balkans. He was delivering Clinton's ultimatums at first to the Bosnian Serbs and later to Belgrade. Radovan Karadžić, the leader of the Bosnian Serbs, always maintained that Holbrooke promised him immunity from prosecution should he agree to sign the Dayton Agreement – a promise later broken by the US administration

The Clinton Doctrine of Humanitarian Intervention came into direct conflict with the international community in 1999 when the UN Security Council refused to authorise military action against Belgrade.

Despite an international outcry, the United States led a NATO bombing campaign against Serbia that lasted 77 days, causing numerous civilian casualties.

Now that Hillary Clinton has plans to expand the State Department, her husband’s foreign policy as president is coming under the spotlight.

According to a member of Chicago Tribune’s editorial board, Steve Chapman, Clinton favoured intervention in Haiti in 1994, in Bosnia in 1995 and she favoured intervention in Kosovo in 1999.

In his 2007 article entitled ‘Clinton unlikely to change course on intervention’ he wrote:

“A Hillary Rodham Clinton presidency promises to unite Madeleine Albright’s zeal for using bombs in pursuit of liberal ideals with Dick Cheney’s vision of the president as emperor. Won’t that be fun?”