Saying U.S. foreign policy has become a “tangled mess,” former Senator Jim Webb said he may campaign for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in 2016.
“I am seriously looking at the possibility of running for president,” Webb said today at a National Press Club luncheon in Washington. “We’ll get back to you in a few months.”
Asked to assess the strengths and weaknesses of Hillary Clinton, the former U.S. secretary of state who would be the frontrunner for the party’s nomination if she enters the race, Webb declined.
Webb, 68, was pressed on whether Clinton was responsible for what he said were the failings of the nation’s foreign policy. He said he was “not here to undermine her.”
“I’m here just to explain what my concerns are,” he said. “It wasn’t meant to be a political comment. It’s more a comment on leadership and how we need to be much clearer in terms of our national goals and our objectives.”
Webb, whose book, “I Heard My Country Calling,” was published in May, represented Virginia for one term in the U.S. Senate from 2007 to 2013. The Vietnam War veteran campaigned for fellow Democrats in August in Iowa, which traditionally holds the nation’s first presidential-nominating contest.
Reminding the audience that he warned in 2002 against invading Iraq, Webb said “our country has been adrift in its foreign policy” since the end of the Cold War.
He said the U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria are probably legal. Yet he declined to comment in an interview about whether he disagreed with how the administration has handled the threat of Islamic State.
He backed President Barack Obama’s handling of the Ukraine- Russia conflict, while saying the administration was wrong to participate in combat missions in Libya in 2011.
“There is no such thing as the right of any president to unilaterally decide to use force in combat operations based on the vague concept of humanitarian intervention,” he said.
U.S. foreign policy “has become a tangled mess” in many cases because “of what can only be called situational ethics,” Webb said.
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