Rand Paul: Iraq War Created 'Chaotic Vacuum' That Boosted Terrorism

Thursday, 19 Jun 2014 10:57 PM

By Greg Richter

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Sen. Rand Paul says he believes terrorism is worse in some ways because of America's involvement in Iraq, creating a "chaotic vacuum."

The Middle East is less stable today because of the Iraq war, the Kentucky Republican said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "Hannity."

The Sunnis in Iraq and Shiites in Iran were at "something of a standoff," before American intervention a decade ago, Paul said, and now Iran is emboldened to move into the fray.

The terror group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has captured multiple towns in northern Iraq in recent days and vows to build a caliphate from which to launch its terrorist activities.

Iran opposes the group, but new American intervention could end up putting the enemies on the same side.

"I would in no way shape or form put American troops into that mess because I don't want American troops fighting alongside Iranian troops," Paul said.

He also doesn't want American soldiers sent in to defend Mosul when Iraqi soldiers recently laid down their weapons and ran rather than defend the city themselves.

President Barack Obama said Thursday he will send 300 military advisers to Iraq, but has ruled out putting "boots on the ground."

Paul and others have said they also don't want too see airstrikes which they say would have American aircraft essentially functioning as Iran's air force.

Paul placed part of the blame for the current situation on Obama because he has armed some of the rebels fighting Syria's government. Those rebels are aligned with some of the members of ISIS in a complicated mix of allegiances.

"There are great contradictions that abound," Paul said.

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