Hillary Clinton has said she wishes she could go back and reconsider some of her past decisions, but she is “proud of what we accomplished” during her time as US secretary of state.
Clinton, a potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, writes in her forthcoming book that her four years running the State Department for President Barack Obama taught her about the United States’ “exceptional strengths and what it will take for us to compete and thrive at home and abroad”.
“As is usually the case with the benefit of hindsight, I wish we could go back and revisit certain choices. But I’m proud of what we accomplished,” Clinton writes. “This century began traumatically for our country, with the terrorist attacks on 9/11, the long wars that followed, and the Great Recession. We needed to do better, and I believe we did.”
Hard Choices, Clinton’s book about her time at the State Department, will be released on June 10. The book arrives as the former first lady considers another White House campaign and as Republicans seek to question her handling of the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, and other decisions on her watch.
In excerpts released by the publisher, Clinton writes that she didn’t write the book for followers of “Washington’s long-running soap opera”, but Americans and people everywhere who are trying to make sense of a changing world.
Clinton says the need to keep America “safe, strong, and prosperous presents an endless set of choices, many of which come with imperfect information and conflicting imperatives”.
She cites Obama’s decision to authorize the raid to capture Osama bin Laden as a leading example, noting that the president’s top advisers were divided and the intelligence “was compelling, but far from definitive. The risks of failure were daunting”.
Clinton writes: “It was as crisp and courageous a display of leadership as I’ve ever seen.”
If she runs for president, the book offers clues to how Clinton may characterize the role of the US in the 21st century.
She writes that “talk of America’s decline has become commonplace, but my faith in our future has never been greater. While there are few problems in today’s world that the United States can solve alone, there are even fewer that can be solved without the United States.”
“Everything that I have done and seen has convinced me that America remains the indispensable nation’.”