Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has suggested that President Trump remains largely alone in the Republican Party in his push to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, in an interview with Breitbart News which was published on Tuesday.
“I think the president is sincere when he says he wants to end these long wars,” Paul stated. “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.”
“I’ve been an ally of his, Sen. [Mike] Lee has been an ally of his on this side, but many Republicans … 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,” Paul continued.
Other than Sens. Paul and Lee, few Republican Senators have stood by the President in his efforts to draw down the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, Syria and other countries in the Middle East. Many, such as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), are advocates of a near-permanent U.S. presence there.
Paul went on to call for a total end to ongoing U.S. involvement 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 added.