How Much Responsibility Does Hillary Clinton Bear for Libya?

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remarks on Libya being a haven for ISIS.
6:31 | 12/20/15

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Transcript for How Much Responsibility Does Hillary Clinton Bear for Libya?
Secretary Clinton I want to circle back to something that your opponents here have brought up. Libya is falling apart the country is a haven for prices and jihadist with an estimated 2000 crisis fighters their today. You advocated for that when eleven intervention and called it. Smart power at its best and yet even President Obama said the US should have done more to field the leadership vacuum left behind. How much responsibility. Do you bear for the chaos that followed the election. Well first Michelle let's remember why we became part of a coalition to stop Qaddafi from. Committing massacres against his people United States was asked to support the Europeans in the Arab partners that we had. And we get a lot of due diligence about whether we should or not and eventually yes I recommended and the president decided that we would support. The action to protect civilians on the ground. And that led to the overthrow of Qaddafi. I think that what Libya then did by having a full free election which elected moderates. Was eight indication of their crying need and desire to get on the right path. Now the whole region has Ben rendered unstable in part because of the aftermath of the Arab Spring. In part because of the very. Effective outreach and propaganda dies saying that ices and other terrorist groups do. But what we're seeing happening in Libya right now. Is that there has Ben a fragile. Agreement. To put aside the differences that exist among Libyans themselves. To try to dislodge ices from its are the hometown. Qaddafi. And to began to try to create a national government. You know it this is not easy work we did a lot to help. We did as much as we could because the Libya's themselves have very strong feelings about what they wish to accept. That we're always looking for ways about what more we can do to tried a hat gives people a chance to be successful. Secretary Clinton I want to go back but that that government. Lacked institutions and experience it'd been a family business for forty years on the securities side we offered only a modest training effort in a very limited arms buyback program. Let me ask you the question again how much responsibility do you beer for the chaos that followed those elections. Martha we offered a lot more than they were willing to take we offered a lot more we also got rid of their chemical weapons which was a big help. And we also went after a lot of the a shoulder fired missiles to round them up. You know we had in if we're not going to send. American troops which there was never any idea of doing that. Then to try to send trainers to try to send experts is something we offered Europeans offered. The UN offered. And there wasn't a lot of responsiveness at first I think. A lot of the Libyans who had been forced out of their country by Qaddafi who came back to try to be part of a new government. Believed they knew what to do and it turned out that they. Were no match for some of that. You know militaristic forces inside that country but I'm not giving up on Libyan I don't think anybody should we've been at this apartment mistakes say. Well there's always have a retrospective to say what mistakes were made but. I know that we offered a lot of help and I know it was difficult for the Libyans to accept help. What we could have done if they had said yes would've been a lot more than what we are able to have done. Senator Sanders and here that are standard but the secretaries like misses you terribly complicated issue fell on a simple solutions. But where we have a disagreement. Is that I think if you look at the history of regime change it's you go back the most adept in I ran. You go back to Salvador Allende who we overthrew in surely you go back to overthrowing Saddam Hussein in Iraq you go back to where we ought to date in Syria with the dictator named as sought. The truth is it is relatively easy for a powerful nation like America to overthrow he dictate. What it is very ought to predict the on intended consequences. And the turmoil and the instability that follows after the overthrow that dictate assault I think Secretary Clinton and all I have a fundamental disagreement. I'm not quite the fan of regime change but I believe she is. Mark well I just repeat this very pregnant. I think it's only fair to put on the record senator Sanders voted. In the senate for a resolution. Paul laying floor. Ending the Qaddafi regime and asking that the UN be brought in either congressional vote or UN Security Council vote we got a UN Security Council vote now. I understand that this is very difficult and I'm not standing here today and saying that Libya is as far along as Tunisia. We saw what happened and eject I cautioned about a quick overthrow of Mubarak. And we now are back with and basically an army dictatorship. This is a part of the world where the United States has tried to play. Two different. Approaches one work quickly to taos man the dictators for our own benefit and promote democracy that's a hard. Wrote to walk but I think it's the right road for us to try to travel. I'm Martha that a government's case and in this case we probably let power lust. For regime toppling. Get ahead of the practical considerations for stability in that region. And I believe the one of the big. Failings in that region. There's a lack of human intelligence. We have not made the investments that we need to make to understand and to have relationships. With that with future leaders that are coming up that's what Chris Stephens was trying to do but without the tools without the support. That is needed to do that and that what we have is a hole stretch shut now. Of the coast of Libya hundredth a hundred miles a 150 miles that is now become potentially. The next safe haven. For iso. They're go back and forth between Syria and this region. We have to stop contributing to the creation of vacuums that allow safe havens to develop they if you are very.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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