Former president Bill Clinton told CNN's
Fareed Zakaria that he agreed with Hillary Clinton that the Obama administration should have taken the chance years ago of arming Syrian rebels fighting Bashar Assad.
He said she lost the argument "within the administration and she admitted then and acknowledged in her book
that she can't know that if her recommendation had been followed, it would have worked. That's one of those things you can't know," said Clinton. "That's why all of these decisions are hard," according to CNN.
The remarks were interpreted as an effort to distance the former secretary of state from President Barack Obama's foreign policy, according to Breitbart
The former president said he supported "two years ago" the proposal that then secretary of state Hillary Clinton, former defense secretary Leon Panetta, and ex-CIA director David Petraeus had made to "give more robust armed support to the Syrians." At the same time, he said he "well understood why the president was reluctant to do it" because the arms could fall into the wrong hands.
At this point, Clinton said he favored arming those who are most strongly against ISIS though he opposed direct cooperation with Assad. "I think we all recognize what would happen if ISIS" took control of Syria and Iraq, CNN reported.
In August, Hillary Clinton told The Atlantic
that, "The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protest against Assad — there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle — the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled."
In February 2012, as secretary of state, Clinton told CBS
that arming the rebels fighting Assad was not practicable because it wasn't clear helping them would not simultaneously bolster U.S. enemies such as al-Qaida and Hamas.
"If you're a military planner or if you're a secretary of state and you're trying to figure out do you have the elements of an opposition that is actually viable, that we don't see. We see immense human suffering that is heartbreaking."
Clinton served as secretary of state from 2009 until 2013.
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