Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio was asked for his strategy to defeat ISIL during an interview on ABC’s This Week, and he responded by offering up an incoherent non-policy that is typical of the Republican wannabe presidents.
Transcript via ABC’s This Week:
STEPHANOPOULOS: We did just hear the president’s assistant, Ben Rhodes, say that this is an act of war by ISIL, and the U.S. will have to be nimble in its response.
What do you think the president should be doing right now?
RUBIO: Well, first, I would ask our allies to invoke Article 5. This is clearly an act of war, an attack on one of our NATO allies, and we should invoke Article 5 of the NATO agreement and bring everyone together to put together a coalition to confront this challenge. I think as part of that…
STEPHANOPOULOS: The question is how, though?
What exactly would you do? One of your rivals…
RUBIO: Well, first…
STEPHANOPOULOS: — Senator Lindsey Graham, says put 10,000 troops on the ground.
RUBIO: Well, I’m not – I think it’s premature to say the exact numbers. I would say this; I think that we need to begin to work more closely, for example, with the Sunni tribes in Iraq who do not want to work under the thumb of the central government in Iraq. We’ve worked with them in the past.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Isn’t that what’s happening now?
RUBIO: No, it is not, unfortunately. We continue to outsource much of this through to Baghdad and Baghdad is more interested in pursuing and protecting — or in protecting the Shia groups, many of whom are under the control of Iran.
They also are continuing to double down on their own domestic forces which, quite frankly, have proven unreliable. The best fighters on the ground are proving to be the Kurds and, to some extent, the Sunni tribes, who are autonomous.
But we’re not directly supporting them. So that needs to begin to happen.
We also have to get our Sunni allies in the region more involved in this fight. The only way to ultimately defeat ISIS is for them to be defeated ideologically and militarily, by Sunnis themselves.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But is all that going to work without more United States troops?
RUBIO: Well, there will have to be a significant American engagement and that is why we should work more closely with our allies in the region; for example, to station American air support closer to the fight. Right now we’re conducting a lot of these airstrikes off of aircraft carriers.
If we had more of these planes — I know some are flying out of Turkey — we should be requesting areas in Iraq. We could conduct a lot more airstrikes if we had that in place.
Rubio’s plan to stop ISIL is for the US to do more. Exactly what more is, Rubio has no idea. He wants more air strikes, more special operations, the Sunnis to do more, but he offered no specifics as for how he would handle the threat from ISIL.
Compare Rubio’s answer to the detailed specifics of the problem and the entire region that Hillary Clinton was able to offer during the CBS Democratic debate. It is clear that the senator from Florida who can’t be bothered to show up for work is in way over his head on foreign policy.
Republicans were hoping to use the Paris attacks for political gain against Hillary Clinton, but the Republican response has revealed two groups of candidates. There are those like Jeb Bush who want to return to the George W. Bush strategy of boots on the ground, and those like Rubio who are completely out of their league on foreign policy.
Sen. Rubio’s flop illustrates that he is not ready for the White House, and foreign policy is a major liability for the Republican Party.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association
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