In an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom” on Monday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) warned that making policy decisions regarding the threat of ISIS in the Middle East, particularly the use of ground troops, will not accomplish policy goals.
“This is what happens when your decisions are driven by politics, domestic politics rather than what is the in the best interest of the outcome, which is victory,” Rubio said. “And that’s what’s happened with this White House. They ultimately reluctantly came to deal with this issue much later than they should have. And even then they did it in a way that hashed back to the 2008 campaign and 2012 campaign as far as being the president who can brag about disengaging us from the Middle East as opposed to approaching as what is the best strategy to defeat ISIS.”
“And you’re seeing the results of it,” Rubio continued. “You cannot defeat an army on the ground simply from the air. And to put all your eggs in the basket of hoping that local ground forces will be able to do the job with a deeply flawed strategy from the beginning. It is the ideal outcome, but it’s also increasingly the least likely. The likeliest outcome will involve some coalition of ground forces from outside of Iraq to defeat ISIS.”
Rubio was asked by “America’s Newsroom” co-host Martha MacCallum to clarify his position on ground troops, to which Rubio explained that ideally, the Iraqis could take on ISIS alone, but said ultimately it would take a coalition of the United States and Iraq’s neighbors.
“First of all, you will not be able to defeat ISIS from the air. Somebody will have to defeat them on the ground,” he added. “The ideal scenario would be that the Iraqis can defeat them. But what if they can’t? Are we then in a position to accept ISIS wins? Of course not. So I do believe that seriously need to move forward on a plan not just involving U.S. special operations forces but Jordanian, and Turks, and Saudis, and all these other countries to put some sort of a ground element in place that can least confront these guys and stop the spread and growth until these local forces are capable of doing the job themselves.’
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