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Rand Paul on Foreign Wars: Trump Should Stop Listening to Generals “Who Talk In His Ear” and Trust His “Instincts”

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Published on: September 16, 2017

In an exclusive interview with Breitbart, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) said that he believes that President Donald Trump is being given bad advice from the military generals who surround him.

“I think the president’s instincts, his instinct as he said the other day was to end the Afghan war and not to get more involved,” Paul told Breitbart News.

“His instinct all along has been that the Iraq war was a mistake, and he’s said the same thing recently about the Afghan war,” Paul continued.  “I think he still believes that, but I think the problem is he’s surrounded by people who talk in his ear that are from the military who all think it is a military solution.

“I just think that a war for the country of Afghanistan is not winnable because Afghanistan is not really a country; it’s a bunch of different tribes and they don’t really want to be a country,” he added.  “They’re only a country because the West drew a circle around them and said ‘hey, you’re Afghanistan. You’re a country.’ But they never really were, historically, a country.”

Paul is right.  Before getting into office, Trump was one who was very vocal about us being involved in the wars we were involved in and criticized the Obama administration of their handling of things.

One of several promises that Trump broke after becoming president was pledging more troops into Afghanistan and heating that whole thing up again… after 16 years!

He would have done better to learn a lesson from the Russians about Afghanistan and leave.

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Paul believes he should trust his instincts.

“I think that we can hope that the president will go back to his instincts, and hire people around him who—I think he’s getting all one-sided advice right now and he’s not hearing from people who were on the campaign with him, who heard him say thousands and thousands of times that ‘we’re going to build things at home, we’re going to take care of our people first, we’re going to take care of America first. We’re going to rebuild our roads and bridges here at home,’” Paul said. “I think that’s one of the reasons he got elected—he told people he would take care of the people at home here in America, and that America would be first before Afghanistan, first before all the money we spend overseas. I think he still believes that. It’s just a matter of, I think, his supporters need to be loud and remind him of what he said and see if we can get him to harken back to it. But in Congress, we have our own responsibility to try to assert ourselves and say ‘hey, we need to be involved in this war-making power.’”

Among the generals feeding Trump information are National Security Adviser three-star Army Gen. H.R. McMaster, White House chief of staff retired four-star Marine Gen. John Kelly, and Defense Secretary and retired Marine Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis.

Those pushing in the opposite direction were former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who has returned to Breitbart News as Executive Chairman, and Dr. Sebastian Gorka.

While we know what McMaster is all about and rumors are that Kelly is basically controlling anything and everything now in the White House, Gorka spoke out about what was going on.

In a letter submitted upon his departure from the White House, Gorka wrote, “[G]iven recent events, it is clear to me that forces that do not support the MAGA promise are — for now — ascendant within the White House. As a result, the best and most effective way I can support you, Mr. President, is from outside the People’s House.”

The specific problem was Trump’s apparent retreat from his repeated insistence on speaking about “radical Islamic terrorism” rather than a faceless, amorphous and ideology-free terrorist threat. Gorka continued:

Regrettably, outside of yourself, the individuals who most embodied and represented the policies that will “Make America Great Again,” have been internally countered, systematically removed, or undermined in recent months.

This was made patently obvious as I read the text of your speech on Afghanistan this week.

The fact that those who drafted and approved the speech removed any mention of Radical Islam or radical Islamic terrorism proves that a crucial element of your presidential campaign has been lost.

In essence, Gorka was saying President Donald Trump promised a change on Islamic terror, but all the change agents are gone.

Paul also spoke out on the Senate’s voting on his resolution on an authorization for the use of military force, AUMF, in Afghanistan.

“I think that the majority of the Senate, the majority of the Congress, will say that they believe Congress ought to vote to authorize war,” Paul said.  “But really, their actions don’t express that they really truly believe that.”

“There’s a big group of the neo-cons and the neo-liberals who believe that the president can do whatever he wants, and most presidents also believe they can do whatever they want—that Article II of the Constitution says they can do whatever they want,” he added.  “So, they all profess that we should have a [authorization of] use of [military] force, a new one, but they aren’t willing to vote for anything that would force that to happen. So, I think it’s easy to have the status quo—and the status quo is if people get unhappy with the war, they say ‘hey we didn’t vote for it, it’s the president doing this.’ And if it’s a Republican or a Democrat, they get to point and say ‘hey it’s their fault not our fault.’”

Paul has pointed out something about the war in Afghanistan and Trump’s little troop movement there.

“There have been people, they pushed a resolution that passed in committee to sunset these authorizations of use of force in the House as well,” Paul said of his resolution that came as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which failed by a vote of 61-36 in the Senate. “And we’ve had the vote here as well. I think we keep agitating, and pointing out that ‘look, Obama couldn’t win the war with 100,000 troops. And we’re going to do it with 15,000?’ I think that argument is a pretty powerful one.”

I agree.

I’m reminded of a scene from the film Flyboys, in which one of the characters speaks frankly about how many wars take place and how they end, and in the end, there’s loss of money, lives and spirits and nothing is gained.  Everyone just one day all of a sudden stops fighting and goes home and lives their lives.

That doesn’t make me anti-war, just one that believes if we are fighting a war, it should be with the goal to actually win it and not occupy and nation build.  It’s sort of the mindset of the brave men who ignored the orders of their superiors to save their brothers in Benghazi.  It was all about winning and defeating the enemy.

Unfortunately, for America, she is too scared to call out the enemy in the region there.  Our forefathers did, and they won.  Take the time to refresh yourself with Thomas Jefferson and how he defeated Islamic jihadis during his presidency and he did it without an standing army, too!

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