Foreign Policy Will Be One Of Hillary Clinton's Hurdles In 2016

Foreign policy is expected to be a major issue in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, and that may spell trouble for Hillary Clinton, as critics will view the likely candidate as tainted by the White House's perceived foreign policy missteps.

As a former secretary of state under President Barack Obama, Clinton spurred controversy for what critics billed as not being forthcoming on the details surrounding the 2012 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed a U.S. ambassador.

Moreover, with the administration now coming under fire for putting the threat of the Islamic State -- a radical terror group in Iraq and Syria -- on the backburner until the situation boiled over, Clinton could be viewed as lacking foresight on major foreign policy issues.

"Whoever the Democratic nominee is -- which is likely Hillary -- President Obama's ratings on all these issues (including foreign policy) will be an albatross around the neck of Democratic nominees and their chances of winning the presidency," Republican Strategist Ford O'Connell told Xinhua.

The Islamic State's threat is unlikely to disappear overnight, and Clinton's opponents will argue that she, as secretary of state, might have helped stop the militants before they gained traction, had she and the administration kept their eyes on Iraq.

"Foreign policy is going to be one of the big three issues in the 2016 presidential election on both sides of the isle," as many Americans will fret over the resurgence of Middle East terror groups and their ability to target the U.S., O'Connell said.

"That's why we see Hillary taking a very hawkish stance," he added.

Read more from Matthew Rusling at Xinhua

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