Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in a foreign policy speech Wednesday at the Heritage Foundation in Washington suggested he would seek to ramp up tensions with world superpowers China and Russia were he America's commander in chief.
The potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate has risen to prominence with tea party support. He said President Barack Obama should more aggressively pursue a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the actions of Syrian President Bashar Assad, who reportedly authorized a chemical weapons attack that killed more than 1,400 Syrians, including more than 400 children.
"The man is a monster and he should be universally condemned," Cruz said.
But Obama should force China and Russia to actually veto the proposal and publicly embrace Assad, he added, so that American would be justified by raising hostilities.
"And then in response…we should respond directly with respect to Russia by immediately reinstating the anti-ballistic missile stations in Eastern Europe that at the beginning of the Obama administration they canceled in an effort to appease Russia," Cruz said. "And with respect to China, we should immediately approve the sale of F-16s to Taiwan that the administration canceled in order appease China."
Echoing former President Ronald Reagan, Cruz said he favors "peace through strength."
"Bullies and tyrants don't respect weakness or appeasement; in the Arab world, appeasement only encourages more violence; I am a big believer of peace through strength," he said. "We should understand that we don't deal with nations like Russia and China by embracing arm and arm, and signing Kumbaya. The one thing Russia and China understand and respect is strength."
Other potential Republican presidential hopefuls have split on how to cope with Syria, with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie supporting a more interventionist role, and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., preferring a more isolationist one.