When President Trump announced before Christmas that he wanted to withdraw all of the 2,000 U.S. troops stationed in Syria and half of America’s troops in Afghanistan, Washington had a collective freak-out.
But the President is still moving ahead, he told a group of senators gathered at the White House Wednesday.
Trump’s strongest ally on this has been Sen. Rand Paul, a libertarian conservative who has long criticized too much U.S. military intervention, who praised the president.
“I really am proud of the president for making an argument that really no president in recent history has made and that is that we’ve been at war too long in too many places and he’s really going to make a difference,” Paul said after meeting with Trump at the White House.
According to The Hill, “Trump met one-on-one with Paul and then had a subsequent meeting with a larger group of Republican senators, including Paul and Sens. John Cornyn (Texas), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Dan Sullivan(Alaska) and Mike Rounds (S.D.).”
“Not only is he following through with his Syria policy, I really do think there will be changes in Afghanistan as well,” Sen. Paul said. “If you look at the polling data for the American people, I think the American people are with the president and they’re tired, frankly, of both parties who are unwilling to stand up and say enough is enough.”
Rand Paul praises Donald Trump for Syria withdrawal: 'This is exactly what he promised' – Washington Times https://t.co/yl7gncpUn5
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018
A YouGov poll this month showed that a majority of Americans supported withdrawal.
“We’re not going to stay forever. The Afghans will need to step up. The Afghans will need to begin fighting their own wars and taking care of their country,” Paul said.
Trump had promised during his campaign to put “America First,” and to stop wasting U.S. tax dollars on nation-building abroad. This announcement could be the beginning of keeping those promises.
“I will tell you that if you look at his language and his tweets on endless war and you hear him talk about how long this has gone on, I think you’re really seeing one of the extraordinary things that people couldn’t figure out: How did Donald Trump get elected? It was because he doesn’t fit neatly in a box,” Paul said Wednesday.
“He was a different kind of Republican who actually looked at the issues of war and said, ‘You know what? We ought to think of America first,’ ” Paul said.