Obama's Female Hawks

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JONATHAN CHAIT MARCH 20, 2011

Obama's Female Hawks

I found it interesting that the strongest voices for intervention in Libya are all female:

The change became possible, though, only after Mrs. Clinton joined Samantha Power, a senior aide at the National Security Council, and Susan Rice, Mr. Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations, who had been pressing the case for military action, according to senior administration officials speaking only on condition of anonymity. Ms. Power is a former journalist and human rights advocate; Ms. Rice was an Africa adviser to President Clinton when the United States failed to intervene to stop the Rwanda genocide, which Mr. Clinton has called his biggest regret.

Now, the three women were pushing for American intervention to stop a looming humanitarian catastrophe in Libya. 

It's pretty counter-stereotypical. Women's suffrage was originally justified in part on the grounds that women were less likely to vote for war. But Clinton, Power and Rice all come out of the Clinton-era ideological tradition of hawkish humanitarian interventionism.

It's also interesting to recall that Power had to resign from the Obama campaign after calling Clinton a "monster" in what she thought was an off-the-record interview. Now they're teaming up.

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posted in: jonathan chait, libya, united states, clinton, obama, samantha power, susan rice, national security council, united nations

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