Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview on Wednesday that America should be building roads and bridges in America, not Afghanistan.
“I’m tired of spending $50 billion a year in Afghanistan building roads and bridges over there where I would rather build roads and bridges here,” Paul told Breitbart News Deputy Political Editor Amanda House during a wide-ranging interview that included President Donald Trump’s push to advance an America First foreign policy,
A study from Brown University released on Wednesday found that American taxpayers spent $5.9 trillion in military action in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan since 2001, which is $2 trillion more than all federal government spending during the 2017-18 fiscal year.
The Kentucky Republican contended that President Trump “truly believes in America First foreign policy,” however, he warned that some of his advisors have advocated against his foreign policy vision.
“I think that some of the people [Trump] surrounded himself with are really part of the foreign policy swamp that believes that war is always the answer,” Paul cautioned.
“When I talk to the president, I hear that we have been at war too long in Afghanistan. When I talk to him, I hear that his initial response is that we do not need permanent troops in Syria, I think he truly believes that,” Paul continued. “I think he believes stronger than almost anything else and he said it a million times that the Iraq war was a mistake, and it destabilized the Middle East and yet he’s surrounded by generals who often think we cannot leave or we will lose, or we must take one more village in order to get to a negotiated settlement. Or, even worse, the neocons who believe in unconditional surrender like we had with Japan in World War Two. That’s rarely the way war ends.”
The Kentucky conservative then added that America needs to reach a settlement with Afghanistan in which the United States can finally withdraw troops from the country and end the 17-year long war in Afghanistan. “It almost never ends with unconditional surrender. It usually ends with a settlement, and in Afghanistan, there needs to be a settlement,” Paul added.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), who holds similar America First foreign policy views to Sen. Paul, told Breitbart News in an interview in April 2017 that America has spent well over $100 billion in Afghanistan rebuilding their infrastructure where that money could be better spent rebuilding American infrastructure.
“We can make up the difference by cutting spending, especially in a lot of ways that works with Trump’s narrative. We spent a $100 billion in Afghanistan rebuilding their infrastructure…. I would like to see Trump bring that money back. That’s a great opportunity right there,” Massie contended.
Watch the Full Interview: