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Rubio Campaign Press Release - We Need A Plan To Stop The Islamic State And End Assad's Regime Now

August 25, 2015


One year after the initiation of military action against the Islamic State, progress is far from sufficient. The Islamic State continues to draw recruits from around the world and holds significant territory in Syria and Iraq. Assad remains in power, backed by Russia and Iran, even as his forces commit atrocities against the Syrian people on a daily basis.

U.S.-led efforts to train Syrian rebels, Iraqi Army soldiers, Kurdish Peshmerga, and Iraqi Sunni tribesmen to retake territory in Syria and Iraq have run into significant challenges. Barely more than 10,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria have been trained.

The Obama administration has failed to effectively train and support anti-Islamic State fighters in both Iraq and Syria. We need to lift the self-defeating restrictions that prevent U.S. personnel from calling in airstrikes to support Iraqi military operations and embedding with the units they have trained.

To enable military success against the Islamic State, we must first have in place a political strategy to mobilize significant Sunni Arab opposition to this terrorist group, both within Syria and Iraq and in the broader region.

As yet another August comes and goes in this conflict that now has generational implications for global security, U.S. strategy remains an incoherent mess. Reversing the gains that both Iran and the Islamic State have made as they have sought to fill the void left by American disengagement will be difficult.

Ending Assad's reign of terror once and for all will be, too. And both will be much more difficult than if we had acted at the outset of the civil war in Syria, as some of us urged President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But it is still not impossible.

View the full op-ed as it appeared on (8.25.15)

Marco Rubio, Rubio Campaign Press Release - We Need A Plan To Stop The Islamic State And End Assad's Regime Now Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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