Clinton Touts Libya War as ‘Smart Power’

Rebels Reject Reports of Peace Talks as Regime Shores Up Tripoli Defenses

When she took office as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton vowed a “forward thinking” foreign policy, using something she called “smart power.” At the time, nobody really knew what that meant, except that it was used to demand massive increases in the State Department’s budget.

Today, we finally found out what it meant, as Clinton cheered the seemingly endless war in Libya as a perfect example of the “smart power” she’s been talking about all along. She insisted the US was “wisely building coalitions” in the war and had managed to “get other people on the field.”

So far it doesn’t seem to be making much difference in the war, which was stalemated when the bombing campaign started in mid-March and remains stalemated to this day. The Gadhafi regime rejected the rumors of peace talks earlier this week, and the rebels reiterated that position today, with both insisting that the war would eventually be won.

The rebels are the ones currently on the offensive, but that changes from week to week, as offensives inevitably stall and are replaced by counter-offensives which return the situation to the status quo. Though the rebels have small numbers of troops in some cities near Tripoli, the regime is on the march already trying to take the area back, and NATO confirmed just yesterday that they didn’t believe the rebels could take Tripoli.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of