Sen. Rand Paul blasted the Obama administration in a speech Monday for what he called its "eagerness" to get involved in the Syrian conflict as he declared that the U.S. is not the policeman of the world.
"Sometimes I think our defense is weakened by our over eagerness to be involved in every civil war on the planet," the Kentucky Republican said in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention
"For our country's sake, certainly for our soldier's sake — for the sake of every veteran who ever donned a uniform and fought for this country — America's mission should always be to keep the peace, not police the world," he added, according to Politico
Paul, a potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate, also accused the administration of suggesting the U.S. goal in the Syrian civil war is to ensure a "stalemate" between Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and the rebels fighting to overthrow him.
"Last week I was told by the administration — you know what their goal is in Syria? To fight to stalemate," he said. "I've told them I'm not sending my kids or your kids or any American soldiers to fight for stalemate.
"When we fight, we fight to win, we fight for American principles, we fight for the American flag and we come home after we win."
Paul's comments came as the intelligence committees in Congress were signing off on the administration's plans to begin delivering small arms and weapons to specific rebel groups in Syria. President Barack Obama has said, however, that he has no plans to commit troops to Syria. The U.S. has also balked at calls to impose a no-fly zone over parts of the country.
In addition, Paul stressed that the president should not be allowed to go to war or intervene in foreign conflicts without getting authorization from Congress first.
"The Constitution is very clear. Congress is to declare war, not the president," Paul told the veterans meeting in Kentucky.
In addition, the senator used his speech to call once again for reconsidering the amount of foreign aid the U.S. sends around the world, especially to countries with anti-American sentiments.
"In Egypt and Pakistan, they riot and burn our flag," he said. "Common sense tells us that we shouldn't be sending foreign aid to nations that burn our flag."
Finally, the Kentucky senator said he believes there's reason to be concerned that weapons the U.S. sends to Syrian rebels will be used against Christians by groups allied with al-Qaida.
"How can we ask our brave men and women to fight against al-Qaida in some countries and with al-Qaida in other countries? It makes no sense," Paul said.
"A great irony is that these weapons may well be used against the two million Christians currently in Syria, who are generally protected by the Assad regime," he added. "I, for one, will fight with every ounce of my energy to prevent American arms from being used against Christians!"
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