"It has to be tempered with the realization that not every country is immediately going to become a little 'd' democratic country," Jeb Bush told the Daily Caller. "Iraq would be a good example of that I think."
When asked whether the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq – where his brother spent billions trying to establish democratic governments – could be judged as successes if those countries end up as autocratic regimes or worse, the younger Bush said security should come first.
"I think ultimately security will lead towards democracy and having an engaged America will help make that so, but you cannot have democracy without security," he said.
During his 2005 inaugural address, President George W. Bush said that it will be US policy "to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."
According to Jeb Bush, liberal democracy is merely "one of the values that we need to promote."
The former governor of Florida said President Barack Obama’s administration lacks an overarching or grand strategy, citing Egypt’s 2011 revolution as an example.
"We didn't stand for anything and we've managed to, I think, hurt a relationship that has been part of a reason why we've had security in the region," he said. "It's not the most secure part of the world, but certainly Egypt has played a constructive role in that regard, and now they are striving to do the same."
Moreover, the Obama administration's policy of "leading from behind" led to a failure of US foreign policy in Libya, Jeb said. He added that the United States was "wrong" not to develop a strategy beyond airstrikes.