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Rand Paul: Bring US troops home from Afghanistan, then throw parade

Rand Paul: Bring US troops home from Afghanistan, then throw parade
© Greg Nash

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSaudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Noisy democracy, or rude people behaving like children? Lawmakers, Wall Street shrug off Trump's escalating Fed attacks MORE (R-Ky.) said Wednesday he would support a military parade like the one President TrumpDonald John TrumpCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Five takeaways from testy Heller-Rosen debate in Nevada Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation MORE has asked for if it meant bringing American troops home from Afghanistan.

“Though the martial image of high-stepping soldiers is not one I tend to associate with our nation’s Founders’ distrust of a standing Army, I’m not against a victory celebration. So I propose we declare victory in Afghanistan, bring home our 14,000 troops and hold a victory parade,” Paul wrote in an op-ed for Fox News.

The White House and Department of Defense have confirmed a Washington Post report that Trump asked military leaders to put together a military parade. The concept is still in its early stages, officials told the newspaper. 

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Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: US, South Korea cancel another military exercise | Dozen sailors injured in chopper crash on aircraft carrier | Navy vet charged with sending toxic letters US, South Korea cancel another military exercise Top US Afghan commander drew his sidearm during this week's attack: report MORE said Wednesday the parade is a reflection of Trump’s “respect” and “fondness” for the military. He said the Pentagon is working on options for the event to present to Trump but dodged answering questions about a parade's potential cost.

Paul wrote Wednesday that a victory parade would serve as a fitting way to end the campaign in Afghanistan, which is the longest conflict in U.S. history. Trump last year increased the number of U.S. troops in the country from 8,400 to 14,000.

“We just don’t know how to appreciate a good thing,” Paul wrote. “A big part of our foreign policy failures is not knowing when and how to declare victory. So, why not a parade?”

"The only reason victory is elusive in Afghanistan is that presidents continue to have an impossible definition of victory," Paul added.

Paul’s comments echo those of a few other lawmakers who have said they’d support a parade that focused on the men and women in the armed forces, rather than a display of military might.

Democrats and some Republicans, however, have criticized the parade idea, saying it mirrors events held in authoritarian countries and would be a waste of money.