Rep. Ron Paul (Texas), a possible Republican candidate for president, said Tuesday that the U.S. should bring its troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan now that Osama bin Laden has been killed.
Paul, a long-time skeptic of American interventionism, said that "like all other Americans, I'm glad he's gone," but raised multiple questions about the costs associated with the 10-year manhunt for the al Qaeda leader behind the 9/11 attacks.
"If we got him, I guess it's time to come home as far as I'm concerned," he said during an interview with Fox Business network.
Unlike other GOP presidential hopefuls, Paul waited until Tuesday to offer his official response to bin Laden's slaying, which took place on Sunday.
The content of Paul's response also differed from the potential candidates. He did not credit President Obama or former President George W. Bush for the military's ability to carry out the attack.
"There's a little bit of luck in all of this," Paul said.
The congressman also expressed doubts that the killing would make the U.S. safer, saying that it "might stir up more hatred — not that we should have changed our mind about it."
He suggested that some might raise conspiracy theories about bin Laden's death due to the lack of photo or video evidence released.
Paul also expressed concerns about the casualties incurred by America in Iraq and Afghanistan, which number above 6,000, and the $1 trillion-plus spent on the wars, all while bin Laden remained in hiding.
"Why did it take 10 years to get one guy?" he said.
But like other lawmakers and politicians, Paul questioned the U.S.'s foreign aid to Pakistan, where bin Laden was hiding in a town close to the country's capital of Islamabad. The congressman, long an opponent of most foreign aid, said that he would vote to cut off assistance to Pakistan.
Amid a debate over how bin Laden's slaying will affect Obama's chances of reelection, Paul said that it likely won't have an effect on the 2012 campaign
"The American people shift their views rather quickly," he said, citing the fact that former President George H.W. Bush's failure to win reelection in 1992 followed the Persian Gulf War.
"I think economics will dominate the campaign next year ... I don't think there is any guarantee he will have smooth sailing next year at all."