Senator Marco Rubio warned on Sunday that American security is directly threatened by ISIS’s attempt to establish a caliphate in Iraq from which it can strike out at Western countries. “This is an extremely serious national-security risk for the country if they were to establish that safe haven,” Rubio told Norah O’Donnell on CBS’s Face the Nation.
Rubio cited the example of al-Qaeda plotting the 9/11 attacks from the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan and cautioned that “history is trying to repeat itself here.”
“This is an urgent counterterrorism matter,” he said, adding that he did not view it through the lens of democracy promotion or nation-building in Iraq. “We will either deal with ISIS now, or we will deal with them later, and later they will be stronger and harder to reach.”
When pressed by O’Donnell about what he thought the president ought to do in response to the situation in Iraq, he said he agreed that it didn’t make sense to send in boots on the ground, but thought that President Obama shouldn’t have openly taken this option off the table.