O'Malley: Hillary Clinton Has Shown A Total Inability To Understand Foreign Policy

November 22, 2015

Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Sunday that Hillary Clinton has shown a "total inability" to understand foreign policy.

Appearing on This Week, O'Malley criticized Clinton for not thinking about or planning for what happens after a dictator is overthrown, citing Clinton's vote of approval for the Iraq War as a senator and her leading role in engineering the 2011 intervention into Libya as secretary of state.

"Secretary Clinton voted for the Iraq War, and not withstanding what she now regards as a big mistake in that vote, one...where she should have known better," O'Malley said. "Can you point to one instance in our foreign policy where as secretary of state Secretary Clinton had an understanding of what was coming after the toppling of a dictator? She could be very, very gleeful at the toppling of [former Libyan leader Muammar] Gaddafi, but there was no anticipation of what would happen after Gaddafi."

Libya has become a virtually failed state embedded in a violent civil war since an international coalition overthrew Gaddafi from power. Two rival governments have declared legitimate authority over the state while both Islamic State and al Qaeda affiliates have taken control of territory as well.

O'Malley also described Clinton's foreign policy mindset as "having one foot stuck in the Cold War," arguing that there is now a new generation of warfare for which Clinton is unprepared.

"Look, this is a new era of warfare," he said. "This is fourth generation warfare, and it requires a new sort of diplomacy, a more far-seeing national security strategy that is not the old Cold War mentality."

Fourth generation warfare refers to a view that warfare going forward will primarily be irregular and consist of asymmetrical operations in which nation-states will be fighting non-state actors. Moreover, culture and politics play a central in role in conflict, which will be far more decentralized and less focused on traditional states.

O'Malley is far behind Clinton in all the polls but is targeting the former secretary of state's record on foreign policy as national security issues are coming to the forefront of presidential politics in the wake of the recent terror attacks in Paris, for which Islamic State has claimed responsibility.