strong>NEW HAMPSHIRE -- "When we pull back, voids are filled," Jeb Bush said Wednesday night to explain ISIS's rise. This line basically pins ISIS's strength on President Obama's withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. The critique could also apply to Obama's drive-by war in Libya, where the dedication to "cabin[ing] our committment" and avoiding "boots on the ground," probably facilitated the deadly attacks in Benghazi as well as ISIS's strength there.
But if we're talking about ISIS thriving in voids, it seems relevant to discuss the original decision--by Obama in the case of Iraq and George W. Bush in the case of Iraq. Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul made that point in a September debate:
Sometimes both sides of the civil war are evil, and sometimes intervention sometimes makes us less safe. This is real debate we have to have in the Middle East.
Every time we have toppled a secular dictator, we have gotten chaos, the rise of radical Islam, and we're more at risk. So, I think we need to think before we act, and know most interventions, if not a lot of them in the Middle East, have actually backfired on us.