Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) told Breitbart News in an exclusive comment Tuesday that the Donald Trump foreign policy doctrine works best when “we strike the terrorists” and then “bring the troops home.”
Rep. Gaetz spoke to Breitbart News after President Trump ordered a strike that killed Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani.
The strike against Soleimani has led many antiwar Democrats such as Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to propose legislation that would restrict the president’s military capabilities against Iran.
Congressman Gaetz has served as a leading proponent of President Trump’s America First foreign policy vision, wherein America intervenes less aboard and focuses more on rebuilding the American nation.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), another advocate for a more noninterventionist foreign policy, called the strike against Soleimani a “big victory” for the safety of the American people.
The Florida conservative contended that the president delivered a measured response by striking Soleimani and that the attack was designed to stop a war, not instigate one.
“President Trump has shown amazing restraint with Iran, but he was very clear: if harm came to Americans, he would respond with overwhelming force. Soleimani’s death was an effort to protect our troops and to stop a war, not to start one,” Rep. Gaetz told Breitbart News.
“If President Trump wanted war with Iran there were plenty of other opportunities to do that. He does not want war with Iran, and neither do I,” the Florida congressman added. “Soleimani’s actions were putting us on the greater path to war, and the safety and security of Americans was central to the President’s thinking.”
Rep. Gaetz charged that President Trump’s foreign policy serves as a stark contrast of previous presidents’ foreign policy consensus of regime change, believing that the President Trump’s foreign policy is best when the country targets terrorists and brings the troops home.
He explained, “The world is witnessing a change in doctrine. The Obama-Bush Middle East regime change doctrine was to invade and then hope to persuade people that we were liberators. The Trump doctrine is at its best when we strike the terrorists and then bring our troops home. When the people who stormed our embassy and attacked Americans wrote Soleimani’s name on our embassy’s walls, they signed his death warrant. If I were the next leader of the Quds Force, I certainly wouldn’t want those folks writing my name on the walls of any American embassy.”