Rand Paul on Syria: "Neocon War Caucus" Graham, Rubio, Romney, Haley "Always Want To Stay At War" | Video | RealClearPolitics

Rand Paul on Syria: "Neocon War Caucus" Graham, Rubio, Romney, Haley "Always Want To Stay At War"


Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) slams Republicans who are criticizing President Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Northern Syria:

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS:  In the meantime, if I can switch gears to the president's move on Syria today, Senator, withdrawing American troops from Northern Syria, as we see the Turks come in.
A lot of people in your own party, from Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, Nikki Haley, and on and on and on, says this is a travesty, it's a bad move, it emboldens our enemies. 
What do you say? 
SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY):  Well, it sounded like you just listed the neocon war caucus of the Senate.  So, yes, they always want to stay at war.  They always think it's the best answer.
But I would say this.  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. 
You know, I'm kind of the belief go big -- go big or go home.  You know, 200 or 300 people are just a trip wire to get us drawn into something and a tragedy probably, but they aren't enough to do anything. 
In fact, there may be a couple of -- there may be dozens of people at a time -- maybe a dozen here, dozen there.  They aren't enough to deter anything.  And part of the resolution of the war over there has to be people who live over there. 
The Turks live over there.  The Syrians live over there.  And we have -- they have apparently come to an agreement.  There's about three million Syrian refugees in Turkey.  You know, they're going to try to get some of those people back into Syria.  And they have to have an area -- a zone where they can control that. 
And, you know, I think that the best answer is, is that we don't have all the answers and that the people who live there are always going to have more of a stake in the game, and we need to not think that it's always the U.S.' responsibility to fight every war and find every peace. 
We haven't been able to find peace for 18 years in Afghanistan.  So I certainly don't think we're going to find peace in Syria.  But I do think a couple of hundred people there is simply a trip wire for a bigger war or for a calamity for our soldiers.
CAVUTO:  Well, you know, Lindsey Graham has said, this is going to be a stain on Americans' honor for abandoning the Kurds, the ones who were so instrumental in going after ISIS, he says.
Nikki Haley had said: "We must have the backs of our allies if we expect them to have our backs."
What do you say? 
PAUL:  You know, I think, back after World War I, we could have done better job drawing up these country lines. 
Right now, there at least is a Kurdish autonomous region within Iraq.  And I think that's a good place for people to live if they want to have more Kurdish autonomy. 
But then it may be unrealistic to think that either Turkey or Syria is going to give up part of their territory up there to an autonomous region for the Kurds. 
So, you know, some have said this will force the Kurds to decide who their allies are.  But I guess that's kind of what they have got to decide.  It's definitely not going to be Turkish allies. 
So the question is, do they have more in common with Syria.  And could there be some unification of causes there to try to find stability in Syria? 
The bottom line is, this chaos was fed by outside intervention.  The Turks got involved.  We got involved, the Qataris, the Saudis.  All these people got involved in this Syrian civil war.  And to what end?
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. 
And the rise of ISIS came in the chaos of Hussein being toppled, but also the chaos of Assad's regime being made marginal and made fragile. 
CAVUTO:  Senator Rand Paul, thank you for taking the time.

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