Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., suggested that the United States had pulled its military forces from Iraq too quickly, allowing the country to slip into violence.

"I think the most enduring lesson of the Iraq conflict is the consequences of completely disengaging too quickly," Rubio said Wednesday in a Q-and-A session after his speech at the American Enterprise Institute. "You lose all the gains you made and in fact it makes, perhaps makes you question the effort why we did it in the first place if your not going to finish the job."

Rubio said the Obama administration had "ambled aimlessly" away from gains made by U.S. efforts in Iraq. He acknowledged that his words might be deemed "unpleasant" by war-weary Americans but said it would be important not to do the same thing in Afghanistan.