Leading Republican presidential candidate and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has blamed the Obama administration for the rise of the Islamic State in the Middle East alleging that the United States during this period not only disengaged from the region, but also ignored the threat.
In a major foreign policy speech which was mainly focused on Iran and the rise of IS, Bush urged the US to disapprove the recently-inked Iranian nuclear deal, or else the next US president would have to undo the damage.
Bush, who is the brother (George Bush) and son (George H W Bush) of two former US presidents, also blamed Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton for the rise of the IS.
“Like the president himself, she had opposed the surge, then joined in claiming credit for its success, then stood by as that hard-won victory by American and allied forces was thrown away. In all her record-setting travels, she stopped by Iraq exactly one time," he said.
"Despite elaborate efforts by the administration to avoid even calling it by name, one of the very gravest threats we face today comes from radical Islamic terrorists. The terrorists are possessed by the same violent ideology that gave us 9/11, and they are on the offensive and gaining ground. It is not true, and was wishful thinking by the administration to claim, that the tide of war is receding," he said.
"The reality is that radical Islam has been spreading like a pandemic -- across the Middle East, throughout Africa and to parts of Asia, even in the nations of the West, finding recruits in Europe and the United States," he said.
"What we are facing in ISIS and its ideology is, to borrow a phrase, the focus of evil in the modern world. And civilised nations everywhere, especially those with power, have a duty to oppose and defeat this enemy.
"No leader or policymaker involved will claim to have gotten everything right in the region, Iraq especially," he said.
Noting that the threat of global jihad, and of the IS in particular, requires all the strength, unity, and confidence that only American leadership can provide, Bush said, "Radical Islam is a threat we are entirely capable of overcoming, and I will be unyielding in that cause should I be elected president of the US."
Bush said the US must engage with friends and allies, and lead again in that vital region.
Observing that Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the most populous Arab country and the wealthiest, are important partners of the US, he alleged those relationships have been badly mishandled by this administration.
"Both countries are key to a better-coordinated regional effort against terrorism. We need to restore trust, and work more closely with them against common threats. We have very capable partners, likewise, in the United Arab Emirates, who are willing and able to take the fight to the extremists," he said.