Hillary Clinton proud of achievements at State Department, memoir reveals

Serving country has been greatest honour of my life, says Clinton, as she mulls presidential run

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 May, 2014, 8:58pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 May, 2014, 8:58pm

Hillary Clinton writes in her new book that she wishes she could have made different, unspecified decisions as President Barack Obama's secretary of state but remains proud of her accomplishments as America's top diplomat.

The potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate writes in an author's note from her upcoming book Hard Choices that her time at the State Department taught her about the nation's "exceptional strengths and what it will take for us to compete and thrive at home and abroad".

"As is usually the case with the benefit of hindsight, I wish we could go back and revisit certain choices. But I'm proud of what we accomplished," Clinton writes. "This century began traumatically for our country, with the terrorist attacks on 9/11, the long wars that followed, and the Great Recession. We needed to do better, and I believe we did."

Clinton's memoir will be released on June 10 by publisher Simon & Schuster. She is expected to announce whether she will seek the White House in 2016 by late this year and the book arrives as Republicans have questioned her handling of the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, and other decisions on her watch.

In the excerpts, the former first lady and New York senator says she didn't write the book for followers of "Washington's long-running soap opera" but Americans and people everywhere who are trying to make sense of a rapidly changing world. Clinton says: "One thing that has never been a hard choice for me is serving our country. It has been the greatest honour of my life."

She aims to describe her time at State in terms that average Americans can understand, writing that everyone faces difficult choices over how to balance careers with family responsibilities. For leaders and nations, those choices "can mean the difference between war and peace, poverty and prosperity".

Addressing national security, Clinton says the need to keep America "safe, strong, and prosperous presents an endless set of choices, many of which come with imperfect information and conflicting imperatives".

She cites Obama's decision to authorise the raid to capture Osama bin Laden as a leading example, noting the president's top advisers were divided and the intelligence "was compelling, but far from definitive".

"It was as crisp and courageous a display of leadership as I've ever seen," Clinton writes.