Clinton: Europe must 'share burden' of counterterrorism

23rd March 2016, Comments 0 comments

With Belgium reeling from deadly attacks, White House hopeful Hillary Clinton on Wednesday called on Europe to take more decisive steps to combat terrorism, including improving border controls and intelligence cooperation.

The frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination said Washington needs to work hand-in-hand with European nations to thwart and eliminate groups like the self-declared Islamic State.

And while the former secretary of state castigated her Republican rivals including Donald Trump for their inflammatory rhetoric -- "loose cannons tend to misfire," she said -- she pulled no punches in calling on the continent, particularly the European Union, to step up.

"There's also more they can do to share the burden with us," Clinton said in her half-hour counter-terrorism address at Stanford University.

"We'd like to see more European countries investing in defense and security," she said.

Clinton called on European banks to shut down terrorist financing channels and European special forces to train and equip forces fighting extremists.

She also said the continent's militaries should be flying missions over Iraq and Syria.

Clinton took issue with Europe's intelligence cooperation efforts, harshly assessing that it "still lags" despite pledges by France and Belgium to move forward after last year's Paris attacks.

She noted that the EU keeps delaying a vote on sharing traveler information between member states, stressing that "it's actually easier for the United States to get flight manifests from EU nations than it is for EU nations to get them from their own neighbors."

Tighter monitoring of suspected jihadists traveling to and from Iraq and Syria was also addressed.

"We need to know the identities of every fighter who makes that trip and start revoking passports and visas," said Clinton, speaking in a quiet, measured tone that contrasted with the more buoyant style she often uses on the campaign trail.

"Right now, many European nations... don't alert each other when they turn away a suspected jihadist at the border or when a passport is stolen."

That point may resonate with leaders after Turkey said Wednesday that it had detained and then deported Ibrahim El Bakraoui, one of the two suicide bombers at the Brussels airport, and accused the Belgian authorities of failing to confirm his links to terror.

"What happens in Europe has a way of making it to America," Clinton said.

Clinton, who argues that her foreign policy experience would be a crucial presidential asset in troubled times, lashed out at Trump and Republican Ted Cruz for their "reckless" assessments of how to combat extremism.

"It would also be a serious mistake to begin carpet-bombing populated areas into oblivion," she said, referring to such a proposal by Cruz.


© 2016 AFP

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