(CNN) - Sen. Marco Rubio said Tuesday the Defense Department's plan to reduce troop levels comes at a time when there's great unrest in parts of the world.
"In the middle of all of this, the U.S. announcing that we may have troop levels as a low as they've been since World War II. I think that's a pretty startling contrast in terms of where our priorities are and where the world's challenges look like," the Florida Republican told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
He cited tensions between Japan and China, North Korea and South Korea, as well as unrest in Ukraine and Syria. He pointed to instability in the Middle East because of Iran's nuclear program as another example of a challenge the U.S. faces overseas.
He also argued Russia has violated "every significant arms treaty."
"We are certainly in the midst of a geopolitical battle for influence around the world," he added.
Watch the rest of the interview on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" at 5 p.m. ET.