Tags: Syria | runio | putin | strong | us

Rubio Hits Back at Putin: US Must Remain 'Strong and Engaged'

Friday, 13 Sep 2013 12:56 PM

By Melanie Batley

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Russian president Vladimir Putin was wrong to suggest in an op-ed piece this week that America is not exceptional and that American leadership does not make the world safer, according to Sen. Marco Rubio.

In an op-ed piece of his own for the National Review, the Florida Republican argues that the United States, as the world's only superpower, is uniquely positioned "to lead the free world" and that America must continue to maintain its military influence to that end.

"The U.S. won the Cold War because of our willingness to lead the free world, and today we remain the world's sole super power. The question facing our nation now is whether we will continue to lead in the future. I believe we must," Rubio wrote Thursday, referring to potential U.S. strikes against the Syria government over its reported use of chemical weapons against civilians.

Rubio, a possible 2016 GOP presidential hopeful, said "a strong and engaged America is a source of good in the world." The U.S., he added, remains "a beacon of hope for people around the world."

The freshman senator went on to dispute Putin's assertion that unilateral military action by the U.S. in Syria would "constitute an act of aggression" and said America cannot afford to rely solely on the international community to protect its own national interests.

"The United Nations is a fine forum for debate, but time and again it has proven unreliable when it comes to actual action. The U.S. should never abdicate our national security to anybody — especially an international body that includes many who don't share our democratic ideals," he said.

American foreign policy, Rubio continued, should instead be focused on deepening relationships with U.S. allies.

"If we follow these principles, the world will be safer, freer, and more prosperous, and the 21st century will be another American century," he concluded.

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