There’s little doubt that Marco Rubio is an expert on foreign policy and national security. In a recent interview, Sen. Rubio said that a) he’d served on the Senate Intelligence Committee and b) that you don’t send sensitive information via email. Sen. Rubio went on to say that “Well, it’s a very serious issue. Look, there are people who have been charged with criminal offenses for less. On top of that, it’s just highly irresponsible. I mean, look, I’m on the Intelligence Committee. I have access to highly classified information of the same level that she had access to. We would never put that in an email. Quite frankly, you only look at that in a secure environment or on paper in a secure environment. You never email that stuff around.”
Sen. Rubio’s statements make it clear that there’s a routine for handling sensitive information. It’s also clear that Hillary didn’t follow those protocols, which is why she’s spending her time obfuscating.
Sen. Rubio’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal is well thought through. That’s why it’s clear that it isn’t based on bluster and predictions. First, Sen. Rubio explained why President Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s policies failed:
President Obama has continued to appease China’s leaders despite their mounting aggression. In addition to his insufficient responses to economic and national-security concerns, he has ignored the Chinese government’s mass roundups of human-rights advocates, oppression of religious minorities, detention of political dissidents, ever-tightening controls on the Internet, and numerous other human-rights violations. He has hoped that being more friendly with China will make it more responsible. It hasn’t worked.
Then he explained how his approach would be different:
My first goal will be to restore America’s strategic advantage in the Pacific. China has increased its defense spending by 10% this year, continuing a 20-year trend. We cannot continue to allow our military readiness to atrophy while China’s strengthens. My presidency will begin with an end to defense sequestration and a restoration of the Pentagon’s budget to its appropriate level. This will allow us to neutralize China’s rapidly growing capabilities in every strategic realm, including air, sea, ground, cyber space and even outer space.
Sen. Rubio’s first goal is specific. Most importantly, it’s the right approach. It reverses a trend that President Obama started his first day in office. It’s sending a message that a Rubio administration wouldn’t tolerate China’s (or Russia’s) cyber-attacks. It follows President Reagan’s approach of dealing from a position of strength.
Simply put, the Reagan Doctrine was straightforward. First, tell America’s enemies that America is serious again. Next, prove to America’s enemies that America is serious again. Finally, don’t start negotiating until you’ve established superiority over America’s enemies.
If the collapse of the Soviet Union taught us anything, it’s that our enemies come willing to make concessions when they’re scared as hell that the US is asserting itself on the world stage again.
That’s the blueprint Sen. Rubio is using.