While Donald Trump uses the cost of health care for transgender soldiers (less than a hundredth of the cost of kicking them out, and less than federal expenditures on Viagra and White House trips to Mar-a-Lago) to excuse his politically motivated ban on further transgender recruits, the White House proposes to spend another $2 billion to $4 billion a year to send more troops to the endless war Afghanistan.
Rand Paul would like to stop that war. The junior Senator from Kentucky gets a vote from the full Senate today on his amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to repeal the 2001 and 2002 resolutions that have allowed the White House to bomb at will in seven different countries without any Congressional declaration of war.
Senator Paul says the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations to Use Military Force were properly aimed at those who attacked the United States on September 11, 2001 (well, we could debate the second one, which sent us after Saddam Hussein, who didn’t have anything to do with 9/11) but now have us chasing after bad guys who didn’t even exist 16 years ago. Senator Paul wants Congress to retake the reins and stop the waste of soldiers’ lives for rudderless foreign policy:
Although ISIS is a threat we must confront and defeat, we cannot continue to throw our Constitution out the window to do so, or our enemies will have won a crucial victory no matter how many of them we destroy.
Believing in that document – having the confidence that the Founders were students of government’s mistakes throughout history and got it right – strengthens us more than opening yet another front with billions of dollars we have to borrow from another country.
Instead of pursuing a whack-a-mole foreign policy that consistently keeps us on the defensive and endangers our nation by spreading us thin, let’s utilize the same focus and discipline we expect of our military to give them specific authorization as each unique situation warrants [Sen. Rand Paul, “Why We Must Repeal the 16-Year-Old Authorization for the Use of Military Force,” Rare, 2017.09.11].
You know, I’d rather have Rand Paul declaring which wars to fight, or at least leading his 534 Capitol colleagues back to making such declarations, than the incompetent in the Oval Office.