Marco Unveils the Rubio Doctrine: Bigger Military, More Powerful America

The Florida senator lays out his vision for foreign policy.

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Republican Presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks during the Freedom Summit on May 9, 2015 in Greenville, South Carolina.

Photo by Richard Ellis/Getty Images

Florida Senator Marco Rubio will unveil his foreign policy doctrine Wednesday in his first major speech on international affairs as a presidential candidate.

The speech, set to take place at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, will tie together three pillars: a boost to military funding, a promise to "use American power" to stop countries from violating international rules, and a pledge to "spread economic and political freedom," according to excerpts provided in advance by Rubio's campaign.

The remarks are expected to cap a dramatic evolution on the Florida Republican's part from relative moderate on foreign policy just three years ago to unabashed hawk.

Below are the full excerpts as released:

"What principles should govern the exercise of our power? The 21st century requires a president who will answer that question with clarity and consistency – one who will set forth a doctrine for the exercise of American influence in the world – and who will adhere to that doctrine with the principled devotion that has marked the bipartisan tradition of presidential leadership from Truman to Kennedy to Reagan.

Today, I intend to offer such a doctrine. And in the coming years, I intend to be such a president. My foreign policy doctrine consists of three pillars:

The first is American Strength. … To ensure our strength never falters, we must always plan ahead. It takes forethought to design and many years to build the capabilities we may need at a moment’s notice. So to restore American Strength, my first priority will be to adequately fund our military. This would be a priority even in times of peace and stability, though the world today is neither.

The second pillar of my doctrine … is the protection of the American economy in a globalized world.  … As president, I will use American power to oppose any violations of international waters, airspace, cyberspace, or outer space. This includes the economic disruption caused when one country invades another, as well as the chaos caused by disruptions in chokepoints such as the South China Sea or the Strait of Hormuz.

Russia, China, Iran, or any other nation that attempts to block global commerce will know to expect a response from my administration. Gone will be the days of debating where a ship is flagged or whether it is our place to criticize territorial expansionism. In this century, businesses must have the freedom to operate around the world with confidence. 

The third pillar of my doctrine is moral clarity regarding America’s core values. We must recognize that our nation is a global leader not just because it has superior arms, but because it has superior aims. … 

As president, I will support the spread of economic and political freedom, reinforce our alliances, resist efforts by large powers to subjugate their smaller neighbors, maintain a robust commitment to transparent and effective foreign assistance programs, and advance the rights of the vulnerable, including women and the religious minorities that are so often persecuted, so that the afflicted peoples of the world know the truth: the American people hear their cries, see their suffering, and most of all, desire their freedom."

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