Sen. Paul (R-KY), one of the president’s staunchest allies in Congress on foreign policy, urged the president to reconsider his decision to deploy 1,500 troops to the Middle East amid tensions with Iran.
Paul called on the president to “trust” his instincts and follow his “America First” foreign policy, which calls for less intervention and nation-building abroad and a focus on rebuilding the homeland.
“I strongly urge @realdonaldtrump to reconsider more troops to the Middle East. This escalation doesn’t get us out of our decades long, seemingly endless wars Mr. President,” Rand tweeted Friday. “Trust your instincts and follow what you ran on, not the neocons around who want to repeat past mistakes”:
I strongly urge @realdonaldtrump to reconsider more troops to the Middle East. This escalation doesn’t get us out of our decades long, seemingly endless wars Mr. President. Trust your instincts and follow what you ran on, not the neocons around who want to repeat past mistakes.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) May 24, 2019
During the 2016 presidential election, then-candidate Trump delivered an “America First” nationalist-themed foreign policy speech outlining his prescribed foreign policy–one based on improving America while decrying the neoconservative interventions in Iraq and Libya.
“We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to President Obama’s line in the sand in Syria. Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper,” Trump said, jabbing at Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama.
Outside of his populist rhetoric on immigration and trade, Trump garnered strong grassroots support for his America First foreign policy, often chastising Hillary Clinton for voting to go to war with Iraq.
In May 2016, Trump mocked neoconservative Bill Kristol, saying all the “poor guy” “wants to do is go to war and kill people”:
Trump’s escalated deployment of troops to the Middle East arises as Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) delivered a major foreign policy speech Wednesday explaining how an America First foreign policy should focus less on stoking wars abroad.
“Today, our military is over-stretched, over-deployed, and over-exerted,” Gaetz said. “Growing up where I have, I’ve seen my whole life what endless deployments and unfocused wars really mean for our most patriotic fellow Americans.”
Congressman Gaetz said now that the “War Lobby” never convinced the president to intervene militarily in Syria, they have turned their gaze towards military intervention in Venezuela, Yemen, and Iran.
Luckily, the War Lobby never got its desired intervention in Syria, largely thanks to Donald Trump— the ONLY major presidential candidate who spoke against the idea. The so-called “experts” behind our failed foreign policy have not learned from their mistakes because they have never been held accountable for them. And so today, the saber-rattling persists and is directed toward Venezuela, Yemen, and, most disturbingly, Iran.
“Foreign nations and special interests, no matter how much we like them, don’t call the shots,” the Florida conservative added.