Iraq war was biggest mistake of US: Albright

Last Updated 04 May 2018, 06:49 IST

Former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright Tuesday said that the war on Iraq was the US's "biggest mistake".

"America attacked Afghanistan as a direct result of Sep 11 bombings. However, the war on Iraq was the biggest mistake we could make and are still hurt because of it."

However, Albright, who served in the Bill Clinton administration, added that the international community has a responsibility to act if a country's leaders deny the people their rights, despite such actions being an encroachment of that country's sovereignty.

Albright was interacting with the recipients of Young India fellowship in the capital. Asked about the possibility of a Republican winning the 2012 US  presidential election, Albright said she would work for the re-election of President Barack Obama, and otherwise "the democracy has the ability to correct itself".

Earlier, Albright, a PhD from Columbia University and the first woman to become the US secretary of state, said she had not thought of becoming the secretary of state during her education, and urged the fellows not to be bound by fixed plans.

"I never actually had a fixed plan of becoming the secretary of state. My advice would be to go with the flow and love whatever you do," she said. "Whatever you do, if you deliver, it adds to your resume and shows that you are a responsible worker," she added.

Praising the organisers of the fellowship for its interdisciplinary nature, Albright said such a fellowship could help the young students "discover what they really want to do in life".

Talking on a wide variety of subjects, including international politics and careers, Albright recounted anecdotes from her own career and shared the difficulties she had to face as a woman in higher echelons of American politics.

She also had an advice for the women fellows present in the audience. "Often, we see so many mediocre men getting the top jobs but the women have to be excellent in order to move ahead. I think that women need to learn how to operate within the system and interrupt whenever they have any idea, rather than waiting on for a really smart one."

However, she also urged the women to keep a cool head in the male-dominated workplace, as "it never helped going around being angry about things".

(Published 26 June 2012, 11:02 IST)

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