Paul says Afghanistan troop levels not a concern for Congress

December 03, 2009 | | Comments 15
Rand Paul

Rand Paul

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul issued a statement Thursday about President Barack Obama’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan, but it’s still not clear what Paul thinks of the move.

In a statement released by his campaign, Paul said it is Obama’s “prerogative to determine troop levels in time of war.

“It is not the responsibility for Congress to micromanage the orchestration of war,” he said.

The statement, issued at the request of the Herald-Leader, did not say whether he agrees with Obama’s decision to send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan in coming months.

The comments were Paul’s first on the troop surge in Afghanistan since Obama announced the plan Tuesday night. Other leading candidates in next year’s U.S. Senate race reacted to the speech Tuesday night or on Wednesday.

Paul’s chief opponent in next May’s GOP primary election for the U.S. Senate, Secretary of State Trey Grayson, said on Tuesday that he supported Obama’s call for more troops but not the setting of a 2011 time line for withdrawal.

Paul, a Bowling Green eye surgeon and the son of Republican U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, also said the United States “should have declared war formally as the Constitution requires.”

Paul’s statement went on to ask several questions about Afghanistan without offering any answers.

He asked whether America’s national security still is being threatened by terrorist training camps, whether America is in Afghanistan because of a security threat or to build a nation and why haven’t the people of Afghanistan provided their own security?

He said he has heard concerns from soldiers in Afghanistan about money paid to U.S. contractors being funneled to the Taliban to pay them not to attack civilian contractors.

“In addition, there are reports that it is official U.S. policy to pay the Taliban not to fight, essentially a jobs stimulus plan for the Taliban,” he said.

There is no greater priority for the federal government than national defense, added Paul.

–Jack Brammer

Filed Under: Barack ObamaElectionsFederal GovernmentRand PaulRepublican PartyUS Senate Race

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  1. True Blue says:

    I have to ask why not set a time line? It would be just as easy for the “taliban” to sit idle for 12 months whether we are there or not because you know that if “they” aren’t doing anything we will just determine that we “fixed” it and leave anyway.

    “No time line” is a line you use when you have never served in the military, don’t know anything about strategy and want a sound-bite for FOX, CNN, MSNBC, radio or a newspaper.

    Sounds like someone actually needs to travel the world and read a little history instead of spouting “declare war” and all the other ignorant observations.

    Gotta love politicians who think they know something about war, economic theory, health care, etc and haven’t served the first day anywhere. Let’s see a record for working Kentucky issues and not taking lobbyist and other “bribe” money.

  2. […] Paul punts on Afghanistan and tries to avoiding making either side mad.  Essentially, Paul is trying to straddle the […]

  3. KookyTracker says:

    What a copy out! This is hillarious. Rand Paul tries to avoid taking a stand to avoid offending either his national base, who think the war is a neo-con conspiracy, or the voters of Kentucky.

  4. KookyTracker says:

    Rand Paul is simply too kooky for Kentucky!

  5. So Rand Paul wants to be a Senator, a position which provides advice and consent to the president and oversees his military decisions as commander in chief, but doesn’t think that troop levels are a concern of Congress. Has he read the job description of a U.S. Senator?

  6. KookyTracker says:

    Chris- Rand CAN’T answer the question so he evades it. Answering it by saying he’s against the surge the way his father is (who isn’t hiding behind such convuluted non answers, by the way but is instead lashing out at the surge) he loses support in Kentucky.

    On the other hand, if he appeases KY conservatives, he opens himself up to losing some of the money from his father’s kooky minions.

    So he just issues a non answer and hopes nobody will call him on it.

  7. Concerned Citizen says:

    Sounds like this Rand Paul guy wants to follow the law of the land – the Constitution! I think that is what we should do as well.

    We should declare War and fight to win or come home!

  8. Steve says:

    Thank God Rand Paul is against nation building.

    Where is Grayson on Jim Bunning’s outstanding grilling of Ben Bernanke today? Rand Paul has already praised it. I guess when you’re getting money from bailout supporting Senators and banksters, you can’t question Bernanke.

  9. centinel says:

    I think Rand has the right questions.
    It’s also obvious he knows the constitution and knows when it is appropriate to go to war (and that you should declare it).

    As Steve points out, what is Grayson opinion on the excellent job Bunning did today?

  10. Me says:

    What is a “copy out”?

    Anyway, as a historian, Paul is right, the president decides how many troops go where once congress has authorized the president to go to war. All congress can do is decidefund it or not.

  11. Taika says:

    While Rand Paul is out uniting conservatives, growing the Party, and helping Jimmy Higdon…

    Breathitt Co. “Republican Chairman” Mike “Kooky” Bryant is busy posting lies and distortions on the internet.

    This is why we need new leadership like Rand, who is willing to reach out and work for principle. Hard as it may be for entrenched politicians to understand, average voters LIKE someone who will uphold their oath to the Constitution.

    Establishment drones like Mr. Bryant only hurt the party by trying to reject the badly needed energy and enthusiasm Dr. Paul brings – just to cling to an illusion of power as they keep losing elections.

    The people aren’t going to take politics as usual… we’re going to take our party, our state, and our country back!

  12. Steve says:

    I hear that. If Mike Bryant is the cream that rises to the top in the KY GOP establishment, we need to reject them and get Rand Paul elected.

  13. James says:

    Kookytracker is a known affiliate of the candidate running against Rand Paul in the Republican primary in Kentucky – Trey Grayson.

    In addition, he is obviously attempting to label Rand Paul’s ideas as “crazy” or “kooky” without attacking the substance of them. This is called ad hominim and its typically used when people have nothing real to say about someone’s ideas or policies they dislike.

    Instead of listening to “KookyTracker”, I reccomend that your readers go to Paul or Greyson’s websites and compare their positions for themselves.

    Thank You,

    James C Hendricksn

  14. CMHarr says:

    Who cares what Rand Paul thinks? Neither he nor Grayson are worthy of support. I am glad I changed my registration from GOP to Independent.

  15. tuco says:

    I like the fact that he asks those questions. If those kinds of questions were asked in congress earlier we might not be stumbling further into debt trying to support an empire we can’t afford.