The United States should be arming the Kurds in Syria in a bid to fortify the United States' war on terror, Sen. Rand Paul tells Newsmax TV.
"We determine what our American interests are and then we try to amplify those who are in favor of [them] … The Kurds, do amplify American interests," Paul, a Kentucky Republican and GOP presidential candidate, told Ed Berliner on "The Hard Line."
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"I would arm them and I would encourage them and I would help the Kurds. Not only would I help them, I wouldn't send the weapons to Baghdad and say the Kurds have to beg for them.
"I would send them directly to the Kurds and this is something President Obama hasn't done."
Paul said the United States also must do more to protect its government personnel in the Middle East.
"We have a consulate in Irbil, in Kurdistan. We also have an enormous embassy in Baghdad. We should protect those. I've been a big critic of Hillary Clinton for not protecting the consulate in Benghazi," he said.
"It really should preclude her from being president because she didn't provide adequate security for Benghazi. So I am a big proponent of saying, yes we do have to protect our diplomatic missions around the world."
But America's interests aren't always served by intervening, Paul emphasized.
"Throughout the existence of the Soviet Union, they killed millions of their people, but we didn’t choose to have a World War with Russia in order to save those people," Paul said.
"It was tragic. Stalin killed millions and millions of people and we shouldn't help that, we shouldn't support it in any way, we shouldn't finance it in any way, but there's not always an American interest.
"[Chairman] Mao Zedong killed millions of Chinese, but did we have the wherewithal, capacity or moral obligation to save the Chinese? It's terrible what autocrats and dictators do around the world, but we can't always be everywhere all the time, nor do we have the money to do it."
Paul said that U.S. participation in conflicts around the world must be weighed carefully.
"I guess the question would be, if we are there, have we made it better? Toppling [Moammar] Gadhafi in Libya, was that a good idea or bad idea? Did it make the nation more safe or secure? Did it make it less likely that they will attack us?" Paul asked.
"It's more likely now in the failed state of Libya that radical Islam will rise, which it is, and then will we be attacked from Libya because we intervened there? So sometimes we get the opposite.
"For example, in Syria, should we have sent all those weapons in to Islamic rebels who hate us and hate Israel, as well? Many of them who have said, when they're done with Assad, they're going to attack Israel … Should we give weapons to those people? … Let's see war as the last resort."
Paul said he opposes a no-fly zone over Iraq and Syria.
"We have a big debate right now and this is probably the most important debate in the country right now. You have Hillary Clinton on one side and you have five or six Republicans on the other side all saying they want a no-fly zone over Syria and Iraq. Well, that is patently absurd," he said.
"It is the dumbest foreign policy idea I’ve heard, probably … For better or worse, Iraq and Syria invited Russia. They are currently flying over. So a no-fly zone would be saying, we are going to shoot down Russian planes because they are in a space that we declare as ours, but it's also a space the local countries have invited Russia to fly over.
"So it's a really dumb idea, but it's because politicians, Hillary Clinton and five or six Democrats or Republicans, they all want to feel so strong, they want to project this false strength. It's a mistake sometimes to this 'bravado' thing that we have, it's like they're kids in a school yard. We need to be more wise about our foreign policy."
He added that "World War III with a nuclear power is probably not a good idea."
In the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll
, Paul is trailing Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee and John Kasich, with a paltry 2 percent of the vote.
Some Republicans are said to be pressuring him to drop out of the race
, but Paul says he's staying in.
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