RE “A great secretary of state? Not Clinton” (Jeff Jacoby, Op-ed, Feb. 3): While it is the prerogative of the president to establish foreign policy, part of the success or failure can be placed on the shoulders of the secretary of state. The obvious question when it comes to determining success or failure is to analyze whether we are more liked and respected and have accomplished the goals of our nation.
Despite the opprobrium cast on President Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, surveys have shown that we are widely disliked and less respected on the international scene than before.
Our rivals China and Russia have made considerable progress internationally and have resisted our efforts to push an agenda for democratic reform in countries of particular concern. Iran has made strides toward becoming a nuclear power; we have seen the rise of radical Islam, which threatens our allies in the Middle East and Asia; and we have witnessed the expansion of the influence of Iran and Venezuela in Latin America.
Although the outgoing secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, cannot be blamed completely for our failed foreign policy during this administration, certainly she has not aided the situation.