Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) argued that the there was a “very real possibility” the US would have to send combat troops to fight on ISIS on Tuesday’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on the Fox News Channel.
“They [ISIS] have to be defeated by someone on the ground. Now in a perfect world that would be local forces, that would be the Iraqi Army, that would be Syrian rebels, that would be Kurds, but very few people think that’s going to come together in time. There is a very real possibility it will require some level of American ground troops, special operation operators, things of this nature, to carry out that sort of mission in the long-term. Because the answer can’t be that if the Iraqis and Syrian rebels can’t defeat them, ISIS gets to stay. That can’t be the alternative” he stated. And “we have to be prepared for the reality that it could be [a long-term struggle]. These groups certainly think in those terms. They think in terms after long term struggle, not simply a two or three-year endeavor.” He also expressed his support for a permanent troop presence in the Middle East.
Rubio declined to take a side in the dispute between Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Rand Paul (R-KY) over whether Paul was playing politics on national security, but argued the US should have gotten involved in Syria sooner, stating “I will leave it up to him [Sen. Rand Paul] to tell what you his positions are today. Like I said, I don’t, if someone has changed their mind on something of national security, we welcome that because the threat is now real. But I think what’s important to understand for future reference here, is that a mistake was made early on, that our decision not to engage in some level early on is what actually left in place the condition that made the rise of ISIL possible. And that was a big mistake. In the absent of American leadership, other countries decided to arm anyone against Assad. And unfortunately that included some of these very radical groups.”
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