In emails, Hillary's outside advisers pushed hawkish Afghan line

By REUTERS
July 2, 2015 01:30
1 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

WASHINGTON - In the fall of 2009, as US President Barack Obama conducted a long, divisive review of whether to pour more US troops into Afghanistan, an influential group of advisors were quietly pushing a hawkish line.

The advisors didn't work for Obama's White House, however. They were veterans of President Bill Clinton's administration and they peppered Obama's secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, with messages urging a robust counter-insurgency effort in Afghanistan and a tougher U.S. stance toward Pakistan, according to emails released by the State Department late on Tuesday.

The emails reveal how, even as Obama ran a highly formalized Afghan policy review of near-endless meetings and position papers, Hillary Clinton was receptive to outsiders' sometimes off-the-cuff views delivered through back-channels.

How much they influenced Clinton, who was also getting plenty of advice on Afghanistan and Pakistan from officials at her State Department, remains unclear. But Clinton eventually threw her support behind a troop "surge" and there is some evidence the external advisors formed part of her thinking.

Some had more national security expertise than others, but all appeared to have Clinton's ear - and her private email address.

In one missive on Oct. 11, 2009, retired Gen. Wesley Clark, a confidant of the Clintons, warned against repeating in Afghanistan the "incrementalism" of gradual troop increases during the Vietnam War.

"Hopefully, we can be more decisive: lean harder on the Pakistanis, provide more troops to (Afghanistan commander Gen. Stanley) McChrystal ... and raise the heat on al Qaeda," Clark wrote.

Related Content

Breaking news
August 16, 2018
UNRWA says schools for Palestinians to open despite U.S. funding cut

By REUTERS