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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Team Rubio: Told you so on Iraq



With the situation escalating in Iraq, Sen. Marco Rubio is flexing his hawkish side, calling for military action. And the crisis has allowed his team to rewind the clock in an "Told-you-so" way.

A top Rubio aide, Cesar Conda, tweeted today: "@marcorubio's prescient statement on SoFA in Iraq back in October 2011 -->>" with a link to a 2011 statement the senator released.

"A democratic Iraq that is an ally with the U.S. in the War on Terrorism is a tremendous victory that will yield strategic dividends for decades to come," Rubio said. "However, I am concerned that the announced full withdrawal of U.S. forces by the end of this year will place the stability and security of Iraq at risk and jeopardize the gains U.S. and coalition forces have made over the past several years.

"I am disappointed that U.S. and Iraqi governments could not agree on a framework that would have allowed several thousand U.S. troops to stay in Iraq to combat Al Qaeda in Iraq and continue the training mission that is vital to Iraq's future.

"I urge the Administration not to allow today's announcement to become an obstacle to further negotiations on an enduring security relationship with Iraq.

"We should remain open to renewing discussions to bring back a robust U.S. force at the Iraqi government's request that can do counterterrorism and support the Iraqi Security Forces.

"No doubt the Iranian government will seek to capitalize on this development and further extend their nefarious influence into Iraq."

[Last modified: Friday, June 13, 2014 2:07pm]


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