Hillary Clinton on Afghanistan“It’s clear that if I had been president, we would have never diverted our attention from Afghanistan. When I went to Afghanistan the first time and was met by a young soldier from New York, in the 10th Mountain Division who told me that I was welcomed to the forgotten front lines in the war against terror that just struck me so forcefully. We have so many problems that we are going to have to untangle. It will take a tremendous amount of effort. What are we going to do going forward? Because day after day, what I spend my time working on is trying to help pick up the pieces for families and for injured soldiers trying to make sure that they get the help that they need, trying to give the resources that are required. We had to fight to get body armor. Bush sent people to war without body armor. We need a president who will be sensitive to the implications of the use of force and understand that force should be a last resort, not a first resort.”
31 January, 2008: Democratic debate in Los Angeles before Super Tuesday
The killing of bin Laden, she says, was a bonding experience. Obama's Cabinet had been split on whether to attempt the mission, but Clinton backed it and sweated out the decision with the commander-in-chief. "I've seen the president in a lot of intense and difficult settings," she says, "and I've watched him make hard decisions. Obviously, talking to you on September 11 as we are, the bin Laden decision-making process is certainly at the forefront of my mind."
22, September, 2013: New York Magazine interview, "Hillary in Midair"
"I would," she said when asked about extending the timeline at a Council on Foreign Relations event in Manhattan. "It depends on conditions, on the ground, and what is being asked for."
“I believe that if one of those two men, elected as president of Afghanistan, ... [came] with a well-thought-through plan about what was needed — because it is not only the United States which has agreed to continue to support, it is also NATO that has agreed to a continuing presence — I believe that would be very seriously considered."
Clinton stressed, however, that Afghanistan will need to "step up" its own security commitment. "We're willing to help you, we're willing to continue making the sacrifices necessary, but you have to step up to it. And the Afghan security forces have been well trained and they're getting better all the time,” she said.
12 July, 2014: Business Insider: Clinton Open to Keeping US Troops in Afghanistan Even Longer
Hillary Clinton will empower our partners to defeat terrorism and the ideologies that drive it, including through our ongoing partnership to build Iraqi military and governing capacity, our commitment to Afghanistan’s democracy and security, and by supporting efforts to restore stability to Libya and Yemen.
10 August, 2014: Candidate Hillary Clinton’s position on national security on the Hillary for President Website