President Trump sounds a lot like Rand Paul – or even his father Ron Paul – during military meetings by asking generals why they won’t bring the troops home.
This is according to a story in the Washington Post which tried to smear the president as “impulsive” – yet reading deeper into the article reveals that Trump leans libertarian when it comes to foreign policy – more so than previously known.
For one thing, the president wonders why the US is in Somalia of all places:
He has repeatedly pressed Mattis and McMaster in stark terms to explain why U.S. troops are in Somalia. “Can’t we just pull out?” he has asked, according to U.S. officials.
And Trump questioned US involvement in Afghanistan, which is now the country’s longest war:
In a meeting with his top national security aides, the president grew frustrated.
“You guys want me to send troops everywhere,” Trump said, according to officials in the Situation Room meeting. “What’s the justification?”
“Sir, we’re doing it to prevent a bomb from going off in Times Square,” Mattis replied.
The response angered Trump, who insisted that Mattis could make the same argument about almost any country on the planet.
According to the Post, Mattis told Trump to “embrace” the status quo of a “wartime president” like the previous two administrations.
Sounds like Mattis needs to go; if the public wanted expanded wars in Somalia and Afghanistan, – two countries the vast majority of Americans have never been to – they would’ve given Hillary a landslide win.
And remember the US airstrike on a Syrian airfield that made Trump appear aggressive? The strike was the “most limited” military option presented to Trump, according to the New York Times – and it effectively neutered Trump’s enemies at the time who were pressuring him to go to war.
While this isn’t an endorsement of the strike – it did kill a Syrian pilot – it is worth pointing out that the attack left the runway unharmed, meaning the air base was left operational for Syria to continue air strikes on ISIS.
It’s as if Trump wanted to appear he could wage war, while maintaining some of the restraint of Rand Paul.