Hillary Clinton

Watch Hillary Clinton's Big 'National Security' Speech, What to Expect

2:30pm ET in San Diego


Hillary Clinton
State Dept.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is set to deliver a major national security address today in San Diego, where she is campaigning ahead of next Tuesday's primary contest.

The speech is already being previewed as focusing on Donald Trump, who's offered a lot of fodder, from the reasonable if vague call to reevaluate the American role in NATO to the preposterous but insistent call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

What can we expect from Hillary's speech today?

Donald Trump is not a very serious candidate. His policy pronouncements, such as they are, are a grab bag of half-baked, contradictory, often incoherent, statements. On foreign policy questions, Trump has excused this by saying he offers "unpredictability."

But Hillary Clinton's approach to foreign policy is not more serious than that. The United States' picking and choosing of Arab Spring conflicts to back, when Clinton was secretary of state, was unpredictable at best. The results of the U.S.-backed intervention in Libya, championed by Clinton, like the results of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, for which Clinton voted for, meanwhile, were not unpredictable at all.

President Obama has called the failure to plan for the aftermath of the intervention in Libya the "worst mistake" of his presidency. Clinton will point to her tenure as secretary of state as evidence of a qualification to be president, but has always managed to shift responsibility on the failures in Libya. That's not a serious candidate.

Clinton is likely to lambast Trump for calling into question the U.S. relationship with NATO, a military treaty organization formed in the wake of World War II as a counterbalance to the Soviet Union and its satellite states in Eastern and Central Europe. But it's an important line of questioning?"Europe, as Bonnie Kristian has argued, would be richer and safer if Europe paid for its own defense.

Trump's birdshot approach to foreign policy makes it easy for Clinton to dismiss the kernels of seriousness in any in favor of pointing out the most ridiculous, all while avoiding, for now, her role in the disastrous interventions of the last decade and a half.

Watch Clinton live here.