Senator Marco Rubio appeared in a pre-taped segment for Fox News’ Megyn Kelly show to discuss foreign policy, where he made the case for authorizing continued military force to defeat the radical Islamic terror group ISIL.
Rubio disagreed with Senator Rand Paul on limiting the scope of where the U.S. could conduct military operations against the terrorist group, saying that by limiting operations to just Syria and Iraq, ISIL would then be able to hide out in other parts of the Middle East.
If you put a geographic limit on the authorization of the use of force, you’ve basically told ISIL where they can go to hide. If you say, for example, you can only hit them in Iraq and Syria, they have every incentive now to move their operations and their training facilities to some other place that’s not included within it.-Senator Marco Rubio
Here is the rest of the interview on Fox News. Watch the video below.
FOX News’ Megyn Kelly: “Let’s talk about this AUMF, the Authorization for Use of Military Force. Both parties have been pressing for a new one of these. We had one before we went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq. But both parties are saying we need a new one because that one doesn’t really apply to the battle we’re now fighting. Now the White House is coming back and they’re going to present it to Congress tomorrow. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, your committee is key on this. The White House is getting hit for making it too restricted, making it too limiting in what a Commander-in-Chief can actually do – either this one, or the one that’s going to follow Barack Obama. Where do you stand on it?”
Senator Marco Rubio: “Well, I think we need to authorize not just the use of force, we need to authorize to defeat ISIL. It continues to develop. What the President needs to come up with is a strategy, militarily, to defeat them. Which I think involves, for example, an anti-ISIL ground force made up of Arab armies, combined with U.S. Special Forces, particularly for tactical support, an increase in the air strikes.
“But we need to authorize the use of force. But more importantly, we need to authorize the use of force sufficient to defeat them, to destroy them.”
Kelly: “Now, Senator Rand Paul has come out on the record and said that he would oppose any AUMF that doesn’t have geographic limits, because he thinks then we could have somebody expand this to, ‘Well, now we’re going to go bomb Saudi Arabia because we think they fall within the definition of what this authorization provides.’ Do you agree with him?”
Rubio: “Well, think about it this way: If you put a geographic limit on the authorization of the use of force, you’ve basically told ISIL where they can go to hide. If you say, for example, you can only hit them in Iraq and Syria, they have every incentive now to move their operations and their training facilities to some other place that’s not included within it.
“We need to understand – what’s the goal here? The goal here is to defeat ISIL. If your goal is to defeat them, your goal is to defeat them no matter how long it takes, or how many places you have to go after them.”
Kelly: “Do you think this AUMF that’s going to get submitted tomorrow is going to go through, is going to pass?”
Rubio: “Well we need to see the details of it, as I said. I hope that it is an authorization sufficient that allows us to win, to defeat ISIL. And I think when you limit it geographically, when you limit it with time constraints, you’re basically telling the enemy, ‘We’re going to fight you for five years, and if in five years we haven’t succeeded, then we’re going to stop,’ or ‘We’re not going to hit you if you move to Libya, or if you move to Afghanistan.’
“I don’t think that’s going to work if our objective here is to defeat this very dangerous group.”