Rubio: What’s Obama’s strategy on Syria?

November 1, 2015  

Republican presidential candidates on Sunday expressed skepticism over President Barack Obama’s plan to deploy a small number of special forces to Syria, saying it showed “weakness”, Reuters reported.

In fact, Florida Senator Marco Rubio said the plan does not show that Obama has any real strategy with regards to the civil war in Syria.

Obama on Friday authorized the deployment of “fewer than 50” special forces to Syria, relenting on a long-standing refusal to put American boots on the ground.

Both the White House and the State Department insisted Friday that the Syria strategy had not changed, though Secretary of State John Kerry refused to rule out more U.S. commandos being sent to Syria.

“I don’t have a problem with the tactics of it. And the numbers might even have to be larger at some point,” Rubio told CBS’s “Face the Nation” about the deployment, but added, “I think the broader issue is: what is the strategy?”

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham called Obama’s move “a failure on all fronts,” saying American special forces are heading “into a very bad spot with no chance of winning.”

“What we’re about to accomplish is to turn Syria over to Russia and Iran, and to make sure that we never destroy ISIL on Obama’s watch, and pass this mess on to the next president,” Graham was quoted as having said on the “Fox News Sunday” program, referring to the Islamic State (ISIS).

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said he was troubled with Obama’s “incrementalism” in Syria.

While he applauded Obama for deciding to deploy special forces, he added, “But we can’t get into a quagmire. There should be a real strategy to take out ISIS and to take out [Syrian President Bashar Al-]Assad,” Bush added, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The criticism followed earlier comments by critics who said the plan was “too little too late”.

“I think we have a president who just doesn’t know what he’s doing,” Donald Trump, the party’s frontrunner in the 2016 race for the White House, told CNN earlier Sunday.

Senator John McCain, also a former presidential candidate who lost to Obama in the 2008 elections, said that, “unfortunately, this limited action is yet another insufficient step” taken by a president who “continues to have no realistic” and “coherent” strategy on Syria.   

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