Ron Paul on The War in Afghanistan

Last Updated : Sep 28, 2011

Summary

Congressman Paul supported going into Afghanistan and attacking those who attacked us on 9/11. He voted to give the President the authority to use force there. However, Congressman Paul noted that using force against the Taliban was not a declaration of war. He stated that to declare war against a group that is not a country makes the clear declaration of war more complex. Congressman Paul argued that the best tool the framers of the Constitution provided under those circumstances was the power of Congress to grant letters of marque and reprisals. He cautioned against entering into such a vague and undefined war, but in the end supported the resolution to use force as it was the only option available and doing nothing was unthinkable. Congressman Paul's desire was to have clearly defined objectives that would be provided in letter of reprisal or a declaration of war. An authorization to use force provides no clarity as to scope and purpose.

After the military victory over the Taliban was achieved, Congressman Paul began attempting to reign in US military presence there to avoid the vague and prolonged war he cautioned against in 2001. In 2002, Congressman Paul noted in a floor speech that war with Afghanistan was simply no longer necessary. He noted that the people who attacked us had already been defeated and to further destroy Afghanistan only to rebuild it out of some misplaced sense of duty was simply not necessary.

Throughout the next few years, Congressman Paul maintained this same viewpoint on the war : the goals of the war were achieved and US forces should come home. He noted that drawing the US into a prolonged war was a plan put forth by Osama Bin Laden and the war threatens to do exactly what he stated was it's objective - to contribute to the bankruptcy of the US. He stated that the US now found itself mired in a war where victory could not be defined by the American people and withdraw cannot be accepted by the politicians.

During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Congressman Paul stated that if elected he would bring the troops home. After President Obama won the election, Congressman Paul stated that he didn't expect much to change as the Democrats were referring to the war in Afghanistan as "the good war."

After President Obama assumed office, Congressman Paul took part in a renewed effort to end the war. He was a vocal critic of President Obama's surge strategy there and stated that it took 10,000 troops to overthrow the Taliban and many times that to keep the peace. He again offered the solution of removing US presense from that country.

Since the surge in 2009, Congressman Paul has continued to speak about the need to leave the country and the continued to pledge to do that if elected President. When other candidates have pledged to listen to the advice and consent of Generals and Commanders, Congressman Paul has stated that the President sets policy and the Generals carry out those positions. Given the length of the conflict there, Congressman Paul has continually noted that no war has been authorized within Afghanistan only the use of force against those responsible for 9/11 and those people were gone years ago.

 

Remarks After September 11

On September 12, 2001 Congressman Paul spoke on the House floor and noted that while we should indeed pursue those guilty of attacking the US, the legal methods of doing so do not include war on a country when that country did not act. He suggests using writs

 

The Need to Understand Why

Days after the September 11 attacks, Congressman Paul spoke on the House floor about the need to understand why we were attacked on 9/11 so that we can then determine who attacked us. He notes that the authorization for the use of force could be broadened to include numerous nations.

 

Afghanistan War is Not Necessary

On May 21, 2002 Congressman Paul spoke on the House floor and noted that we did not need to occupy Afghanistan. He noted that we destroyed those who attacked us and that the American people were not served by an extended occupation of Afghanistan.

 

Campaign for Liberty Update

In a video update for the Campaign for Liberty in mid 2009, Congressman Paul discusses President Obama's surge into Afghanistan. He also notes that us not being in Afghanistan is not dangerous for us - being in Afghanistan is dangerous.

 

Twice as Long as WWII

In October of 2009, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to address the was in Afghanistan and his desire to see that was ended.

 

Discussion on Afghan Policy

In November of 2009, Congressman Paul spoke on the House floor about the Afghan policy. He notes the cycle of violence where we attach there, so they attack here, so we attack there.

 

Peace Candidate

In December of 2009, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to address the situation in Afghanistan and point out that the President who ran on ending wars is not escalating them.

 

No Declaration of War

On December 2, 2009, Congressman Paul spoke on the House floor about the fact that war was not declared in Afghanistan, but that we slipped into war. He refers to Afghanistan as a quagmire in which the US only continues to dig a hole for itself that it cannot get out of.

 

Ending the war

In March of 2010, Congressman Paul spoke about the uncertainties of the war concerning who the opponents are, what entities we should be fighting, and what the end of the war should look like.

 

In Support of the Kucinich Bill

In March of 2010, Congressman Paul spoke in support of a resolution introduced by Congressman Kucinich to end the war in Afghanistan. Congressman Paul notes that there is no declaration of war and as such, the war in unconstitutional.

 

Congressional Authority for the War

In March of 2010, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to address the merits of Congressional authority to end the war in Iraq.

 

Floor Speech - End the War

In July of 2010, Congressman Paul spoke on the House floor about his objection to the Afghanistan war and the lack of a constitutional declaration of war. He also notes that we are stated to be at war with a tactic of terrorism and not a country or a people.

 

Funding Corruption and Waste in Afghanistan

In July of 2010, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" address to discuss the amount of corruption in Afghanistan.

 

The Cycle of Violence in Afghanistan

In August of 2010, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to discuss the cycle of violence in Afghanistan. He notes that leaving Afghanistan won't exactly cause the Taliban to be strengthened.

 

Ending the War in Afghanistan

In June of 2010, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to discuss the need to end the war in Afghanistan.

 

Debate over Obama Surge in Afghanistan

 

Time to End the War in Afghanistan

On March 17, 2011 Congressman Paul spoke on the House floor about the need to end the war in Afghanistan. He notes that war was never declared and that the President does not have the authority to keep troops there. He supports a resolution to start removing troops from Afghanistan within 30 days. 

 

War Powers Resolution Vote

In March of 2011, the House voted on a resolution to force the removal of troops from Afghanistan pursuant to the War Powers Resolution. Congressman Paul spoke on the floor in support of removing those troops.

 

South Carolina Debate

In May of 2011, Congressman Paul participated in the Republican debate in South Carolina. He spoke about his desire to end the war inAfghanistan.

 

New Hampshire Debate

In June of 2011, Congressman Paul participated in the Republican primary debate in New Hampshire. He was asked about previous comments made by candidates that they would listen to commanders on the ground as to when it was proper to pull out of Afghanistan. He stated that as commander and chief, he would order a removal immediately.

Voting Record

Removing Troops from Afghanistan

In March of 2011, the House voted on a resolution to require the removal of troops from Afghanistan pursuant to the War Powers Resolution. The measure failed 96-321. Ron Paul voted in favor of the resolution to remove the troops from Afghanistan.

Ron Paul voted in favor of the resolution to remove the troops from Afghanistan.

Authorization for the Use of Force

In September of 2001, the House considered legislation to give authorization for the use of force against those who attacked us. The measure passed 420-1. Ron Paul voted to give the authorization for the use of force.

Ron Paul voted to give the authorization for the use of force.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-112; Bill Number-H R 651; United States-Afghanistan Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) Act of 2011 - Cosponsor

Directs the President to seek to enter into a bilateral status of forces agreement with the government of Afghanistan which shall: (1) prohibit the permanent basing or military presence of U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan; (2) provide, no later than one year after the date on which such agreement is entered into, for the complete redeployment from Afghanistan of the U.S. Armed Forces and Department of Defense (DOD) civilian employees and contractors; and (3) establish that the temporary presence of U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan is at the request of the government of Afghanistan. Authorizes such agreement to provide for specific activities or missions of the U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan. Expresses the sense of Congress that the President should submit such agreement to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification as a treaty or alternatively the President should request statutory authorization for such agreement by Congress.

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