The world is riven by chaos and Senator Marco Rubio thinks he knows why: the Obama administration’s supposed policy of disengagement. “I think the belief that somehow by retreating America makes the world safer has been disproven every single time it’s ever been tried,” Rubio said at a Republican presidential debate last year. Since then, he’s since made combatting American “retreat” a central theme of his presidential campaign.
Even if you accept that a presidency characterized by drone strikes, foreign assassinations, military interventions, and arms deals is somehow too passive, you’re still stuck with this problem: the rest of the world doesn’t necessarily want our help. For evidence, look no further than Libya. After the Obama administration swooped in and destroyed Moammar Gaddafi’s regime back in 2011, cheered on by Rubio and current Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, Libya descended into lawlessness. ISIS moved in and currently controls a 120-mile swath of territory along the coast. Many experts now believe the Islamic State is more deeply entrenched in Libya than in Syria or Iraq.