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Jeb Bush blames Obama for chaos in Middle East, vows tougher stance


Jeb BushRepublican presidential candidate Jeb Bush on Tuesday blamed the Obama administration for the spread of Islamic extremism, and called for expanded U.S military efforts in the Middle-East.

He said in California that the radical Islam had been spreading like a pandemic, across the Middle-East, throughout Africa and to parts of Asia.

The presidential candidate said the extremists were also finding recruits in Europe and the U.S.

“Seven years ago, the long-awaited jihadist caliphate existed only in the fevered imagination of the terrorists.

Bush said this was suggesting that the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq created a vacuum that allowed the Islamic State organisation to develop.

Bush, the brother of former President George W Bush, who led the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the son of former President George HW Bush, who invaded the same country in 1990-91, vowed a stronger U.S. stance in Iraq and Syria.

He said he would bolster support to Iraqi and Kurdish forces, expand the use of U.S. airpower and allow its troops to embed with Iraqi units.

Bush said in Syria, he would called for the implementation of a no-fly zone, the establishment of safe zones to protect Syrians against Islamic State as well as the Assad government and an expansion of support for moderate Syrian rebels.

Bush is seeking the Republican nomination for the 2016 elections among a crowded field of 17 candidates.

He has long been considered a favourite of the political establishment, but in recent weeks the campaign has been dominated by real estate tycoon Donald Trump.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is the frontrunner in the centre-left Democratic Party, and Bush is quick to link her to what he described as the Obama administration’s failures.

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