U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), speaking at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday, praised President Donald Trump as “The first president in a generation to seek to end war rather than start one.”
Paul said while he and the president have “occasional” policy differences, “[Trump] believes as I do that a strong America cannot fight endless wars. We must not continue to leave our blood and treasure in Middle East quagmires.”
“I flew with him to Dover Air Force Base, to honor two soldiers whose remains were coming home from Afghanistan,” Paul said. “I’ll never forget that evening. I can tell you the president not only felt the pain of these families but that the president is committed to ending this war.”
Paul has opposed U.S. involvement in foreign conflicts throughout his Senate tenure, and in 2019 introduced a bill to declare an end to the war in Afghanistan and pay out a $2,500 bonus to U.S. troops who fought in the Global War on Terror.
On Tuesday, Paul said, “President Trump is the first president in a generation to seek to end war rather than start one. He intends to end the war in Afghanistan. He is bringing our men and women home.”
In February, under Trump’s leadership, the U.S. signed a formal peace agreement with the Taliban, which laid out a plan to bring troops out of Afghanistan over a 14-month period. As of July, U.S. troop levels had been reduced from around 13,000 troops to 8,600. On Aug. 9, U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said the number of U.S. planned to bring the number of troops in Afghanistan below 5,000 by the end of November.
The Kentucky Republican Senator went on to compare Trump to his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden.
“Compare President Trump with the disastrous record of Joe Biden, who has consistently called for more war,” Paul said. “Joe Biden voted for the Iraq war, which President Trump has long called the worst geopolitical mistake of our generation. I fear Biden will choose war again. He supported the war in Serbia, Syria, Libya. Joe Biden will continue to spill our blood and treasure. President Trump will bring our heroes home.”
Paul concluded his convention remarks on foreign conflict saying, “If you hate war like I hate war, if you want us to quit sending $50 billion every year to Afghanistan to build their roads and bridges instead of building them here at home, you need to support President Trump for another term. So to our soldiers and their families, join me in supporting President Trump.”