Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioWeek ahead: Senate panel to vote on Trump's Labor pick Senators introduce new Iran sanctions Senate intel panel has not seen Nunes surveillance documents: lawmakers MORE (Fla.), a Republican presidential candidate, said on Sunday that he doesn’t understand Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton’s reluctance to say the nation is at war with radical Islam.
“We are at war with radical Islam, with an interpretation of Islam by a significant number of people around the world, who they believe now justifies them in killing those who don’t agree with their ideology.”
“I don’t think we’re at war with Islam,” Clinton said at the second Democratic presidential debate Saturday night in Des Moines, Iowa. “I don’t think we’re at war with all Muslims. I think we’re at war with jihadists. We are at war with violent extremism. We are at war with people who use their religion for purposes of power and oppression, and yes, we are at war with those people, but I don’t want us to be painting with too broad a brush.”
“This is a clash of civilizations,” Rubio said Sunday, reiterating comments from the GOP debate last week that “there is no middle ground on this."
"Either they win or we win. And we need to begin to take this seriously. These are individuals motivated by their faith.”
“Of course not all Muslims are not members of violent jihadist groups, but there is a global jihadist movement in the world, motivated by their interpretation of Islam, in this case Sunni Islam, in the case of ISIS, and it needs to be confronted for what it is,” he added. “This is not a geopolitical movement. It’s a religiously oriented movement.”
Rubio said Article 5 of the NATO agreement should be invoked in the wake of the Paris attacks to “put together a coalition to confront this challenge. “
He said there will have to be “significant” American involvement, adding, however, that it’s premature to talk about specific numbers of U.S. boots on the ground.
“I would say this, I think that we need to begin to work more closely, for example, with the Sunni tribes in Iraq, who do not want to work under the thumb of the central government in Iraq,” he said. “We’ve worked with them in the past.”
“We continue to outsource much of this through Baghdad, and Baghdad is more interested in pursuing and protecting or in protecting the Shia groups, many of whom are under the control of Iran,” Rubio added.
“They also are continuing to double down on their own domestic forces, which quite frankly, have proven unreliable.”
--This report was updated at 10:04 a.m.