Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said in a recent exclusive interview with Breitbart News that the president needs more Republican allies to help him end the war in Afghanistan.
“I think the president is sincere when he says he wants to end these long wars. He said a year ago at the State of the Union that great nations don’t fight perpetual war. He said this year at the State of the Union he was ready to bring the troops home, but he needs more allies,” he told Breitbart News last week.
“I’ve been an ally of his, Sen. [Mike] Lee has been an ally of his on this side, but many Republicans are in the, you know, there’s never been a war they didn’t like. There’s never been a war they wanted to end, and so that’s what we’re up against,” he said.
The senator recently accompanied President Trump to Dover Air Force Base to receive the bodies of two fallen U.S. Special Forces soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan — Sgt. 1st Class Javier J. Gutierrez, 28, of San Antonio, Texas, and Sgt. 1st Class Antonio R. Rodriguez, 28, of Las Cruces, New Mexico.
“It’s a very somber moment, very heart-wrenching to see our young men come home with their lives cut short. They were both in their late 20s, one young man had four children, small children,” Paul said.
He said the president does not necessarily need to bring all U.S. troops home from Afghanistan but should end U.S. combat missions in Afghanistan.
“You know, he’s talking about bringing troops, you know, lowering the troop level in Afghanistan, but really we just need to end combat missions in Afghanistan,” he said.
Paul convened a hearing last Tuesday on the Afghan Papers — a set of interviews of U.S. officials involved in the Afghan War, including some who expressed doubt over the strategy and whether progress was being made.
He said the hearing was a way to give justice to soldiers who have served there.
“I think our soldiers deserve better so this hearing is a way to really give justice to our soldiers who serve and say we really need to be debating what is our mission in Afghanistan, so we’ll probably do another hearing similar to this in about a month,” he said.