William Jefferson Clinton: The Post-Cold War’s Inward Look
Henriksen describes how President Clinton embarked on a disengagement cycle by his “focus like a laser” on the American economy, health care, education, and drug problems. His backing the Congressional passage of North American Free Trade Agreement was based on its assessed positive economic impact. The “Black Hawk Down” incident in Somalia, which recorded the death of several special forces troops in Mogadishu, snuffed out Clinton’s already low interest in military incursions abroad. His reluctance for overseas ventures caused him to ignore calls by his own party for armed intervention into Haiti to restore an elected president until politically forced. Likewise, Clinton dismissed pleas to rescue Rwanda from interethnic genocide contributing to the deaths of nearly a million people. He tried to head off North Korea’s nuclear ambitions with the controversial Agreed Framework deal rather than a conflict.