- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 13, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Sen. Marco Rubio, rising in the polls and looking to set himself apart from fellow Republican candidates looking to win the White House, will deliver a major foreign policy speech today, setting out his hawkish beliefs. 

“Today, I intend to offer such a doctrine. And in the coming years, I intend to be such a president,” he will say, according to prepared remarks provided by his campaign. “My foreign policy doctrine consists of three pillars:

“The first is American Strength. … To ensure our strength never falters, we must always plan ahead. It takes forethought to design and many years to build the capabilities we may need at a moment’s notice. So to restore American Strength, my first priority will be to adequately fund our military. This would be a priority even in times of peace and stability, though the world today is neither. …

“The second pillar of my doctrine … is the protection of the American economy in a globalized world.  … As president, I will use American power to oppose any violations of international waters, airspace, cyberspace, or outer space. This includes the economic disruption caused when one country invades another, as well as the chaos caused by disruptions in chokepoints such as the South China Sea or the Strait of Hormuz.

“Russia, China, Iran, or any other nation that attempts to block global commerce will know to expect a response from my administration. Gone will be the days of debating where a ship is flagged or whether it is our place to criticize territorial expansionism. In this century, businesses must have the freedom to operate around the world with confidence. …

“The third pillar of my doctrine is moral clarity regarding America’s core values. We must recognize that our nation is a global leader not just because it has superior arms, but because it has superior aims. …

“As president, I will support the spread of economic and political freedom, reinforce our alliances, resist efforts by large powers to subjugate their smaller neighbors, maintain a robust commitment to transparent and effective foreign assistance programs, and advance the rights of the vulnerable, including women and the religious minorities that are so often persecuted, so that the afflicted peoples of the world know the truth: the American people hear their cries, see their suffering, and most of all, desire their freedom.”


Mr. Rubio will deliver his speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, a think tank, this afternoon. In the audience, big thinkers on foreign policy. The intent: Set his foreign policy in stone by delivering his first big speech of his campaign.

The speech by Rubio, considered by some to be the most hawkish of the GOP slate of candidates, comes as others flee from George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2002. While Jeb Bush said he would have invaded, he later backed away from that stance by saying he didn’t understand the question.

On Wednesday, several more candidates said they would not have invaded, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. 

In his speech, Rubio will also say: “What principles should govern the exercise of our power? The 21st century requires a president who will answer that question with clarity and consistency – one who will set forth a doctrine for the exercise of American influence in the world – and who will adhere to that doctrine with the principled devotion that has marked the bipartisan tradition of presidential leadership from Truman to Kennedy to Reagan.”

 

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