Rand Paul Slams Afghanistan Troop Increase

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) slammed President Donald Trump’s decision to commit 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan in an op-ed for The Hill.

“The mission in Afghanistan has lost its purpose, and I think it is a terrible idea to send any more troops into that war,” he wrote on Tuesday. “It’s time to come home now.”

Rand said that he “would have voted to authorize this military action” when Congress authorized the military to strike back against al-Qaeda after the September 11 terror attacks that took nearly 3,000 lives in 2001. Now, however, he feels the mission has shifted beyond the scope of what Congress approved.

“Nation-building should not be our job, and it has consistently been a fool’s errand for use, particularly in this region,” wrote Rand in his op-ed.

After President Trump announced during a televised address that there would be a troop increase in Afghanistan, Rand criticized the president for anti-war principles.

In the fall, Rand plans to propose an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would repeal the 2001-2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force. He also wants Congress to vote on deploying more troops to the Middle East again in the fall where he will “be leading the charge for ‘no.’”

There has been backlash from other conservatives as well, including enthusiastic Trump supporters like Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham. Both women objected to the troop increase.

Laura Ingraham praised Trump’s speech but did not agree with the idea that America should continue to be involved in the Middle East.

Anti-Trump republicans also criticized Trump’s decision. CBS News reported that Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) accused Trump of having “bowed to the military industrial establishment” and “doubled down on perpetual war.”

Slightly more open to continued involvement in Afghanistan, Ohio governor John Kasich stuck to the stance he took during his 2016 presidential election campaign, according to CNN. The Ohio governor insisted that “we need to begin to leave there” while advocating for the option to conduct strikes based on intelligence gathering.

Increasing the number of U.S troops in Afghanistan may help the Afghan government strengthen its control of the country against the Taliban and an affiliate of Islamic State. The additional 4,000 American soldiers will continue to focus on training and advising Afghan forces.

Aislinn Murphy is a junior at Cornell University majoring in Communication with a focus in Media Communication. Prior to attending Cornell, she studied Screenwriting and Film & Television Production at Loyola Marymount University.

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