Sen. Rand Paul on Thursday slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's warnings about a "precipitous withdrawal" from Afghanistan and Syria as "ludicrous," and said the United States needs to learn as a country "how to declare victory."
"We've been there 17 years," the Kentucky Republican said on Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "We got (Osama) bin Laden, disrupted the people who attacked us. I was for that."
Senators are set to vote Thursday afternoon on a McConnell-sponsored amendment that warns the "precipitous withdrawal" of forces from Syria and Afghanistan puts the hard-won gains U.S. security at risk.
Paul said he does agree the United States needs to continue with surveillance of the region, but he does not think "we need soldiers there forever."
"We're spending $51 billion a year in Afghanistan," said McConnell. "Let's spend some of that money at home."
Paul said he also does not believe there has been a shift in Trump's call to pull troops out of both countries, saying he's spoken with Trump and he remains "steadfast" that something must be done differently.
"The foreign policy swamp that says we should stay forever in Afghanistan, they're wrong," said Paul. "In Syria, we did defeat ISIS. 99% of the land has been taken away and it's like welfare at home. We can give people a helping hand but we can't be there forever. We have to teach people self-dependency."
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