President Donald Trump is expected to announce in just hours from now that he is increasing US troop levels in Afghanistan.
In an op-ed appearing in The Hill. Senator Rand Paul is objecting to this move. He writes:
The Trump administration is increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan and, by doing so, keeping us involved even longer in a 16-year-old war that has long since gone past its time.In the current Congress, where there is little in the way of statesmen. these words are downright heroic. The flame that signals the dangers of the adventures of an Empire is dim but not out.
The mission in Afghanistan has lost its purpose, and I think it is a terrible idea to send any more troops into that war. It’s time to come home now...
The Afghanistan war going beyond its original mission has an enormous cost. First and most important is the cost to our troops. Deaths, injuries and unnecessary deployments causing harm to families are certainly the most important reason as to why you don’t go to wars that aren’t necessary.
Then comes the taxpayer. We have spent over $1 trillion in Afghanistan, and nearly $5 trillion on Middle East wars in the past 15 years. Would we not be better off with $5 trillion less in debt or using these funds in other, more productive ways?
Nation-building should not be our job, and it has consistently been a fool’s errand for us, particularly in this region. There is no reason to believe we can do it in Afghanistan, and certainly no reason to believe we can do it without a permanent, costly presence in the country.
So I strongly disagree with the administration’s actions here. I’ve spoken to the president, and I know he wants to end this war. We’ve all heard him say it. But talk won’t get it done. Although I’ve been informed that the president rejected larger expansions of troops than the one announced this week, that’s not good enough. He should have rejected this one and stuck to his principles. He knows this war is over, and he – unlike the last two presidents – should have the guts to end it for real, on his watch.