Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 White House debates vaccines for air travel Senate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken MORE (R-Ky.) said Thursday it was "ludicrous" for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money — Democrats rush to finish off infrastructure Biden employs flurry of meetings to unite warring factions GOP senators say Biden COVID-19 strategy has 'exacerbated vaccine hesitancy' MORE (R-Ky.) to call taking troops out of Syria and Afghanistan “precipitous.”
“To call it a precipitous withdrawal after 17 years is ludicrous,” Paul said on Fox News. “We’ve been there 17 years.”
The libertarian-leaning lawmaker said the U.S. had secured a victory in Afghanistan because it “got bin Laden” and “disrupted the people who attacked us.”
He argued that the money spent on the war could be better spent domestically, including on a border wall.
The U.S. has been leading an international coalition against ISIS in Syria since 2014, while the war in Afghanistan began in late 2001.
Senators are planning to vote Thursday afternoon on an amendment sponsored by McConnell that warns “the precipitous withdrawal” of U.S. forces from Syria and Afghanistan “could put at risk hard-won gains and United States national security.”
The measure is meant as a rebuke of the Trump administration, with GOP lawmakers concerned over President TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE's reluctance to listen to top military and intelligence advisers.
The Trump administration instructed the military to begin removing troops from Afghanistan, two officials told The New York Times last month, though the White House contradicted that report.
The U.S. and the Taliban are coming closer to an agreement that could include withdrawing troops, The Washington Post reported Monday.
“It would recognize the danger of a precipitous withdrawal from either conflict and highlight the need for diplomatic engagement and political solutions to the underlying conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan," McConnell said of his resolution earlier this week.
"We are the leader of the free world, and it’s incumbent upon the United Stares to lead, to maintain a global coalition against terror and to stand with our partners engaged in a daily fight against terrorists," he added.