Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonComet Ping Pong shooter pleads guilty Time for 'J. Edgar' Comey to take his leave Corruption trial could roil NJ Senate race MORE argued late Monday that U.S. involvement in deposing Libya leader Moammar Gadhafi had not cost any American lives.
“Libya was a different kind of calculation,” she said of military involvement there in 2011 compared with current efforts in Syria during a MSNBC town hall in Springfield, Ill.
“We’ve got to continue to support the Libyan people, to give them a chance, because otherwise you see what happened in Syria, with the consequences of millions of people flooding out of Syria, with more than 250,000 people killed, with terrorist groups like [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] taking up almost — huge blocks of territory, as big as some of the states in that area.”
Clinton also charged that the U.S. owed its foreign allies after their cooperation in the invasion of Afghanistan.
“If the United States is supposed to say, ‘You know what, that’s not our problem,’ then they’d come to us and say, ‘Yes, Afghanistan wasn’t our problem either,’” she said.
“That’s not the way you work with allies and build coalitions,” Clinton continued. "So what did we do there? We provided our unique abilities, and they ran most of the air missions. They were really very much involved in helping, you know, cordon off Libya and eventually defeating Gadhafi and his forces.
“Now, is Libya perfect? It isn’t. But they did have two elections that were free and fair where they voted for moderates. So, you know, changing from a dictator who has hallowed out your country to something resembling a functioning state and even hopefully a more democratic one doesn’t happen overnight.”
Clinton did not mention the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, during her remarks. The incident resulted in four American deaths, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens.