Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) endorsed President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria.
Paul lambasted some of his own party leaders like Lindsay Graham, Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney or Nikki Haley during a telephone interview on Fox News program “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” calling them the “neocon war caucus of the Senate.”
“They always want to stay at war,” Paul said.
President Trump announced on Monday that he would begin withdrawing U.S. troops deployed in Syria immediately in anticipation of a Turkish attack.
“I stand with [President Trump] today as he once again fulfills his promises to stop our endless wars and have a true America First foreign policy,” Paul said.
“And we need to not think that it’s always the U.S.’s responsibility to fight every war and find every peace,” Paul said, adding, “[Leaving] a couple of hundred people in Syria is simply a bridge to a bigger war or calamity for our soldiers.”
The president’s decision was met with concern by some Republican lawmakers who fear that the withdrawal could lead to genocide of U.S. Kurdish allies and the return of ISIS in the region.
However, Paul believes that the United States has already done enough in a conflict that does not appear to be helping to establish peace in the region.
In addition, he said that the Kurds received enormous amounts of money and equipment to fight alongside the Americans in Syria.
“I mean, hundreds of thousands of people have died. Millions of people are displaced. So, once again, the idea of regime change in the Middle East—and this is what President Trump is so right about—regime change hasn’t worked. It’s led to more chaos,” Paul said.
Paul explained that the U.S. and UK-led military intervention that caused Saddam Hussein’s fall in Iraq was what caused the chaos from which ISIS was born and he thinks that something similar is happening while Bassar al-Assad’s regime is weakening in Syria.
“I think President Trump recognizes what President Reagan recognized—unfortunately too late, in Beirut. Leaving three or 400 people in an area that are vulnerable could lead to catastrophe, but also doesn’t really do anything to secure our national security,” Paul said.
On Monday, President Trump defended his decision in a series of tweets in which he pointed out on Twitter, “I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home.”
“We will fight where it is to our benefit and only fight to win,” said the president, who nevertheless reminded Turkey that the United States can “totally destroy” the country’s economy through “extreme actions” in the region.