Paul Ryan: "Principled Realism" Is The Trump Doctrine


Speaker of the House Paul Ryan talks about what the Trump Doctrine of "principled realism" in a town hall event with CNN's Jake Tapper held after President Trump addressed the nation on Afghanistan.

TAPPER: So, we're going to get to a whole range of topics. But first of all, obviously, President Trump just gave a very important address about Afghanistan and the way forward there. He didn't give any troop numbers, but we're told by senior administration officials it should be about 3,900 additional troops. What's your reaction to the new policy?

RYAN: Well, I've been briefed on it already. So (inaudible) policy. I was briefed on it a couple of times.

I'm pleased with the decision. I'm actually pleased with the way he went about making this decision. It was described to me recently by one of our military planners that, for the last 16 years, we -- our comprehensive Afghanistan strategy was 16 one-year strategies. So we have had a convoluted strategy with respect to Afghanistan.

And I think it's high time we had a more comprehensive strategy. And there are a couple of points that he made that I totally agree (inaudible) strategy, not a timetable. I think it telegraphs to our enemies to wait us out.

And I think we have to recognize the fact -- and here's why it matters to us as Americans, why this is in our national security interest. We cannot allow another safe haven for terrorists to materialize again. Look at what was happening in Mosul, in Syria, with ISIS. We can't afford to allow that to happen again. And that is why this matters to us.

And I think we've learned some good lessons in Mosul, in Syria, lessons that are being applied right now. And I think they're carrying over those lessons learned to Afghanistan.

So I also think what I heard tonight for the first time -- this is what I wasn't briefed on -- is I think I heard a new Trump strategy, or a doctrine, so to speak. Principled realism I think is how he described it.

So I think it's important when it comes to our blood and our treasure and soldiers and our safety that we actually have a comprehensive doctrine that we apply. And I think he spent the last six months working on that. And I think that you just heard a big flavor of it tonight.

I've been to Bagram. I've been to Kandahar. I've been to Helmand, to Kabul. And I have seen what our soldiers, our sailors, our airmens, our Marines do there. It is incredible. The sacrifice that they've given for us -- 235 from Wisconsin alone -- it's amazing. And I want to make sure that it is not for naught, that it is for a good reason, which is to preserve peace and security for us here at home so that we don't allow terrorists to have a safe haven to come and strike us again.

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