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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Senator Rand Paul nails it on Afghanistan

Senator Rand Paul R-Kentucky 

Like the late great Gary Welsh and Paul Ogden we at IR oppose nation-building and most of us backed Senator Rand Paul for President last year. In fact most of us wrote in Rand Paul, Paul Ogden, or Ronald Reagan for President last year. Last night President Donald Trump issued a call to send more soldiers into Afghanistan in order to continue our decade long war. This is a reversal from then candidate Trumps promise to withdraw from Afghanistan he made while running for President. What concerns INDY REPUBLICAN greatly is the continued push by many in Washington to centralize more power into the executive branch and to further dilute Congresses responsibility as a separate and equal branch of government. 

Fortunately there are some in congress who understand this. And foremost of them is Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. The Senator has written the following opinion piece which masterfully outlines the issues with President Trumps Afghanistan policy. Senator Paul also outlines the true conservative republican view of the separation of powers. 

Here is Senator Paul's counterpoint to President Trumps Afghanistan speech tilted "Sixteen years on, it's past time to bring our troops home from Afghanistan":

The Trump administration is increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan and, by doing so, keeping us involved even longer in a 16-year-old war that has long since gone past its time.

The mission in Afghanistan has lost its purpose, and I think it is a terrible idea to send any more troops into that war. It's time to come home now.

Our war in Afghanistan began in a proper fashion. We were attacked on 9/11. The Taliban, who then controlled Afghanistan, were harboring al Qaeda, and after being warned, and after an authorization from Congress, our military executed a plan to strike back. Had I been in Congress then, I would have voted to authorize this military action.

But as is typical, there was significant mission creep in Afghanistan. We went from striking back against those who attacked us, to regime change, to nation-building, to policing their country for them. And we do it all now with an authorization that is flimsy at best, with the reason blurred, and the costs now known. We do it with an authorization that was debated and passed before some of our newest military personnel were out of diapers. This isn't fair to them, to the American people, or to a rational foreign policy.

The Afghanistan war going beyond its original mission has an enormous cost. First and most important is the cost to our troops. Deaths, injuries and unnecessary deployments causing harm to families are certainly the most important reason as to why you don't go to wars that aren't necessary.

Then comes the taxpayer. We have spent over $1 trillion in Afghanistan, and nearly $5 trillion on Middle East wars in the past 15 years. Would we not be better off with $5 trillion less in debt or using these funds in other, more productive ways?

Nation-building should not be our job, and it has consistently been a fool's errand for us, particularly in this region. There is no reason to believe we can do it in Afghanistan, and certainly no reason to believe we can do it without a permanent, costly presence in the country.

So I strongly disagree with the administration's actions here. I've spoken to the president, and I know he wants to end this war. We've all heard him say it. But talk won't get it done. Although I've been informed that the president rejected larger expansions of troops than the one announced this week, that's not good enough. He should have rejected this one and stuck to his principles. He knows this war is over, and he - unlike the last two presidents - should have the guts to end it for real, on his watch.

Regardless of the argument over the number of troops, I also will insist my colleagues take up a larger argument over the power to declare war. I believe we have allowed the executive to exercise far too much power in recent years.

This is one of the reasons I objected just before the recess when the Senate moved to consider the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). I have an amendment that I will insist be considered that would repeal the 2001 AUMF on Afghanistan. That AUMF is outdated, overcome by events, and provides a feeble bit of cover for people who still want to be there.

If the president and my colleagues want to continue the war in Afghanistan, then at the very least Congress should vote on it. I'll insist they do this fall, and I'll be leading the charge for "no."

Paul is the junior senator from Kentucky.


  1. Amen!


    1. Now if we can get more Americans to shout this from their rooftops. It looked like Afghanistan outside the Phoenix convention center last night.

  2. 1. I would never, ever consider Mr. Ogden on a par with Ronald Reagan or even Rand Paul. Ogden’s political evolvement, especially since Gary Welsh’s passing, evidences an increasingly Democrat Lite mentality wrapping itself more tightly in the insanity and inanity of liberalism. It matters not that I long ago ceased tuning in to his blog bloviating other than I’ve saved myself a lot of money for over the counter headache relief. It would be far more honest and a time saver or and political talking points devotee.
    2. No one called out or exposed the nefarious Hoosier career politicians as effectively, as honestly, as courageously as Gary Welsh. Since Gary’s passing the local blogosphere (no offense to IR) has become vapid, watered down, and in many cases simply pointless to consume. Gary will never know that his departing the earthly plane led to many of us leaving the electronic blogosphere platform when it involves crooked Hoosier politicians, the deceitful Hoosier political parties, and the corrupt attorneys [but I repeat myself] who pervert the law to pay off themselves and their pals.
    3. The gutless, vile, self-interested, easy-to-buy-off United States Congress for decades has willingly ceded its Constitutional authority and power to the Executive but most especially to the Permanent Bureaucratic Class of regulators the Congress long ago created. House and Senate politicians on all sides of the political aisle have for decades and decades and decades made themselves an extremely wealthy permanent political class. These creeps lie to the public at every turn and the clueless public often follows in mesmerized Pied Piper fashion.
    4. The national establishment crony GOP under the completely owned by the clowns we know as Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan is going to learn very soon that they no members. It is “the American people” who saved Mitch McConnell’s rump and who gave him the GOP majority in the House, his Senate, and the Oval Office. And what do the people get? NOTHING.
    5. We now know for a fact, thanks to the too-glib former US House member Eric Cantor who is quoted as stating the establishment, crony, RINO Republicans NEVER EVER INTENDED TO REPEAL OBAMACARE but instead used the anger of the very people they were supposed to represent to fund raise and be re-elected.
    6. While Mr. Trump may not have been a perfect candidate, and while he was not my favored candidate, what is a thinking, clear-minded Constitutional Conservative to do when the only other option is the utterly corrupt Hillary Clinton? I see bloggers post endlessly in veins of moral superiority to the rest of us about President Trumps alleged failings but they NEVER EVER write the treason of the Clintons, they NEVER EVER write of the illegalities of political slime like Wasserman-Schultz, or the lies of Elizabeth Warren, or the idiocy of Bernie Sanders. But they sure can bash a man who is trying, perhaps faltering at times, but who is trying to help and save everyday Americans from the damage caused by the left liberal politicos.
    7. Left Liberal Democrats (ok, “socialists”) never speak poorly of their own, even when their own are in deep, deep trouble. “Establishment Republicans” excel and seem to revel at sniping, degrading, and seeking MSM air and cable time to criticize other GOP members. RINOS excel at remaining silent when support is needed- as in the totally untrue “Russian” meme that is yet touted at every turn
    8. The Republic as founded died a long, long time ago. And we can thank the “GOP”, the establishment Republicans, the Stupid Party, for abetting the war on the American way of life and Her people every step of the way.

    1. We at IR share the pain and frustration over the untimely demise of Gary Welsh. Some of us here knew Mr. Welsh personally. We sometimes disagree with Paul Ogden but we consider him a great asset to the blogosphere. Most of his criticisms of Donald Trump are spot on. We and Paul both cannot stand Hillary or Bernie. But neither of them is president. Trump is and he is still a democrat masquerading as a republican. As loyal republicans we must hold Donald Trump accountable for what he says and does. We all would give anything to bring Gary Welsh back. By commenting on this and other blogs. You are doing something of value. And you are making a difference.


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