Hillary Clinton does not believe American troops should return to combat roles in Iraq. The 2016 U.S. presidential contender described her position on sending troops back to the Middle Eastern country during a brief news conference in Hampton, New Hampshire, the Washington Post reported Friday.
“This has to be fought by and won by Iraqis. There is no role whatsoever for American soldiers on the ground to go back, other than in the capacity as trainers and advisers,” Clinton said.
Clinton said she agrees with the position that the U.S. has adopted in addressing what she called a “very difficult situation.” That includes making American air support, intelligence and surveillance available to the Iraqi government, but to draw the line at engaging in combat.
As a U.S. senator, Clinton voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. That vote has led to contentious questions posed by both fellow Democrats and reporters.
Soon after Clinton entered the 2008 presidential race, she was directly asked about that vote, and she replied, “If we had known then what we know now, there never would have been a vote,” as noted by the Washington Examiner.
Clinton has repeatedly said she disavows her 2002 vote and wrote on this regret in her 2014 book “Hard Choices.” This week, the presidential candidate called her vote a “mistake” in a conversation with reporters, as pointed out by Politico.
Other contenders in the 2016 race have also weighed in on the Iraq War issue. Jeb Bush, the expected Republican front-runner who has yet to formally announce, said he would have invaded Iraq. “I would have [authorized the invasion], and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody,” Bush told Fox News Monday. “And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got.”