Air strikes and other intervention should be considered to combat a violent insurgency in Iraq, Sen. Marco Rubio said Friday, cautioning the country could become a safe haven for terrorists capable of another 9/11.
The Florida Republican said he didn’t think ground troops were the best response to a “completely predictable” situation, but that U.S. security is directly paired with instability there.
“We have to have every option at our disposal and that includes both missile strikes and air strikes,” Rubio said, linking the turmoil in Iraq with the uprising in Syria and plans for U.S. withdrawal in Afghanistan. He said all three countries pose the risk of becoming areas “from which terrorist organizations can plan and authorize attacks against the United States.”
“A future 9/11 will be made possible if we allow other safe havens to emerge,” he said.
Asked about Rep. Eric Cantor, Rubio told reporters the House majority leader’s defeat went beyond simply his position on immigration. Rubio reiterated his stance that backers of immigration reform should aim for a piecemeal approach rather than comprehensive legislation.
“Those who are out there pushing for immigration reform can continue to pretend that we can do this all at once,” he said. “This all-or-nothing approach is going to continue to yield the same result it’s yielded now for years: nothing.”