There is no “winnable solution” in Afghanistan, according to Republican Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday, who questioned the military’s ability to bring lasting peace to the region.
“There’s a very big question everyone needs to be asking. If President Obama could not win the war or end the war with 100,000 troops, how are we going to do with with 3,000 additional troops. There is no winnable solution. There is no military victory to be found in Afghanistan. That debate needs to come to the forefront,” he said on “Morning Joe.”
“Had I been here in 2001, I would have voted for the resolution to go after the people who attacked us on 9/11. But I don’t think one generation should bind another generation to war.”
Paul said he has been pushing Congress to hold a floor vote on whether to continue or end the war, and claims the federal government has been ducking the issue of troop withdrawal for “decades.”
“Today will be the first major vote we have, not necessarily on ending the wars which I would like to do, but on whether we should even vote on whether to continue war or to end war. So this is a big step forward,” Paul said. “For the past several years, even decades Congress has been avoiding this debate. So I have forced them to come to the floor, we will have a vote. It was like pulling teeth but we will get a vote this morning.”
He said America’s mission in Afghanistan can only be described as nation building and nothing more. “It is nation building. After 15 years you can’t call it anything but nation building.”
Paul said he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, adding any compromise on the issue should start with ending military patrols throughout the villages.
“The sooner the better,” Paul replied. “Ten years ago we need to have quit patrolling the streets and the villages. People will not stand up and defend themselves until they’re forced to. The Afghan army has been given billion upon billions. We’ve spent a trillion dollars over there. And if they are not wiling to fight for their country, I don’t understand why we would continue to fight for their country.”
Paul warned against extending the occupation for fear it might breed further terror cells. He also was skeptical that instituting democracy would change anything.
“Basically the only that thing people think will work over there is a permanent occupation. But permanent occupation also engenders a reaction, and that reaction is perpetual terrorism as well,” he said. “I don’t think democracy is going to work to keep Afghanistan together.”
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