The American Conservative’s Daniel Larison warns, “Rubio is going beyond his earlier reckless support for a “no-fly zone” and promising that he will risk triggering war with a major nuclear-armed power by seeking to topple its client while its forces are still in Syria.”
That isn’t the worst part of his plan. Now that Russia is committed to propping up the Syrian government, seeking to defeat Assad puts the U.S. on a direct collision course with Russia and could very easily lead to a clash between our forces and theirs. Even if U.S. forces don’t intend to, they could end up killing Russians on the ground, and that risks a shooting war with one of the most powerful states in the world. Rubio is going beyond his earlier reckless support for a “no-fly zone” and promising that he will risk triggering war with a major, nuclear-armed power by seeking to topple its client while its forces are still in Syria.
The idea that the U.S. should do “whatever it takes” suggests that there is no cost too high to achieve the stated goal of defeating ISIS, but that isn’t true. Furthermore, saying that he will do “whatever it takes” to win implies that he thinks that any tactic is permissible, and it traps him into persisting in the conflict no matter how much it costs. Based on the reckless, aggressive plan he has laid out, it could cost the U.S. a great deal. Even if the policy made sense, the attitude behind it is reckless maximalism, but as we can see the policy is also quite mad.