- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, said Wednesday that President Obama’s strategy in combating the Islamic State terrorist group is not working thus far — but that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton deserves a lot of the blame for tumult in the region as well.

He acknowledged some improvement in the situation, but said that “one of the people I blame for a lot of this, frankly, is Hillary Clinton.”

“The disaster that is Libya is now a breeding ground for terrorists and it’s also a breeding ground for armament[s], so really, I really do blame Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya for creating a lot of the chaos that is now spreading throughout the Middle East,” Mr. Paul said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”

The Washington Times reported recently that Mrs. Clinton was actually undercut on the 2011 Libya intervention by top Pentagon officials distrustful of the former secretary of state’s march to war.

Mr. Paul has taken to using “Hillary’s war” to criticize Mrs. Clinton, the frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, employing it on a recent stop in the early presidential state of Iowa.

“Hillary’s war in Libya has been an utter disaster,” Mr. Paul told a group of activists last Saturday, according to The Wall Street Journal. “There are now jihadists roaming all across Libya. It’s a jihadist wonderland.”

“I think we do have to militarily confront ISIS,” Mr. Paul said Wednesday. “I think it is a problem, though, and a bigger problem because we allowed and were somewhat complicit in allowing ISIS to grow within the Syrian civil war because we and our allies sent 600 tons of weapons into that civil war — most of those weapons wound up in the hands of ISIS.”

He said he was one who voted against arming Islamic rebels in Syria because he said the U.S. would be back one day to fight against its own weapons.

“Now that day has come and we do have to militarily confront ISIS, but I think Hillary’s war in Libya and then Hillary’s admonition and the president’s admonition and, frankly, some Republicans’ admonition to get involved in the Syrian civil war has actually now created a bigger problem, which is ISIS,” he said.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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