Rubio Wants More Nukes - "Deterrence is a friend of peace"

Kathleen McQuillen on December 18, 2015
Sen. Marco Rubio was asked about supporting one trillion dollar investment on new nuclear weapons. He said "We have to have them. No country in the world faces the threats America faces...the bottom line is that deterrence is a friend of peace."

I went with Kevin and Hector to hear Senator Marco Rubio in Ankeny, Iowa in hopes of asking an immigrant detention question. However, as Rubio spent all of his 20 minute talk laying out for Iowans all that they should fear, I decided to shift the focus. Rubio was intense in his litany of threats: ISIS is coming to get us; there’s a crazy man in North Korea; the US Air Force and Navy are decimated; the man in the White House doesn’t get it or doesn’t care.

With no opportunity for audience Q & A I made my way to the exit door to catch him on his way out. There was much I wanted to say about his fear mongering but knowing whatever opportunity I had would be brief, I decided to focus in on his fear inducing scenario of the US as a weak nation under threat from great powers. I chose then to ask about US military spending and the trillion dollar plans for nuclear weapons. As you’ll see below he is a yes man to both.

Kathleen: Senator, the United States already has a larger military, spends more on military than the rest of the world combined.

Senator Rubio: Yeah.

Kathleen: And now we’re talking about a trillion dollars investment in new nuclear weapons.

Rubio: Absolutely.

Kathleen: And you are supporting that? Even though…

Rubio: Well it’s not, we have to modernize. We have to have them. No country in the world faces the threats America faces. We have alliances in the Asian Pacific region, in Europe, now in the Middle East and the homeland. I mean no nation faces our threats…*shakes head*

Kathleen: A trillion dollars in it? Even though we don’t have enough to pay for our schools and …

Rubio: Well, that’s not the same budget.

Kathleen: Yes but…

Rubio: Schools are funded at the local level. And the bottom line is that deterrence is a friend of peace.  Deterrence is what keeps others from using their weapons against us. If we reduce our capabilities, that calculus has shifted and you may very well find yourself in a very dangerous position.

Kathleen: Of course we already have more nuclear weapons…

Rubio: But deterrence is a critical component. You never want an adversary to believe they can get off a second strike because it changes their calculus and in the case of North Korea, they don’t care what we develop.  They’re gonna continue to build their capabilities.  India has weapons.  Pakistan has weapons.  Iran is probably going to have a weapon at some point which can lead to an arms race in the Middle East. Deterrence matters as much today as it’s ever mattered.

Kathleen: But you know in…

Rubio’s aide steps in and says “we gotta get moving.”

With that he moved on to talk with a young man in the military, thank him for his service; and avoided the question on immigrant detention from Kevin.

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