During the second GOP debate on 16 September, Senator Marco Rubio made the following prediction:
“Here’s what you’re going to see in the next few weeks: the Russians will begin to fly combat missions in that region, not just targeting ISIS, but in order to prop up Assad. He will also, then, turn to other countries in the region and say, ‘America is no longer a reliable ally, Egypt. America is no longer a reliable ally, Saudi Arabia. Begin to rely on us.’”
Weeks later, Russia did indeed begin launching airstrikes, and according to the State Department and Department of Defense, most of the initial strikes were against American-backed rebel groups. Indeed, the targeting would seem to have more to do with propping up the Assad regime than defeating ISIS.
As for the second half of Senator Rubio’s prediction, Russia is trying to convince Iraq to let them replace the U.S. as their main military partner in the fight against ISIS. According to reporting from the New York Times, the Russians have made it known to the Iraqi government that they would be happy to bomb targets inside Iraq if requested.
If Marco Rubio could so accurately foresee this, why does it seem that President Obama didn’t? Even worse, what if Obama did and simply chose not to do anything? Maybe the President is fine with shrinking the U.S. sphere of influence in the mid-east. Maybe he just lacks foresight. Either way, Americans should be concerned.