- The Washington Times
Thursday, December 20, 2018

Sen. Rand Paul says critics of President Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria are acting like the U.S. should be “the world’s policeman.”

Defense Secretary James Mattis will exit the administration over policy differences with the commander in chief, but the Kentucky senator says its time let others deal with the Assad regime, ISIS terrorists, and a host of other security problems in the war-torn nation.

“Ultimately, self-determination is about the people who live there standing up and fighting,” Mr. Paul said while appearing on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” on Thursday.

SEE ALSO: James Mattis quitting as defense secretary, cites differences with Trump

The Republican’s colleagues, like Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Florida’s Marco Rubio, have warned Mr. Trump that he is making a giant blunder.

“This is a stain on the honor of the United States,” Mr. Graham said. “I hope and pray the president will reconsider this. I know that every national security adviser understands that the time is not right to withdraw. If he does not decide to reconsider, then it will be incumbent upon the Congress to speak and hold him accountable.”

Mr. Rubio told peers on Wednesday that the move is a “catastrophic mistake that will have grave consequences” for years to come.

Mr. Paul disagrees.

“It’s one of the reasons he won the election,” Mr. Paul told Fox of the president’s vow to withdraw from Syria. “He’s different than so many Republicans that want to be everywhere, all the time around the world. They want us to be the world’s policeman.”

Secretary Mattis’ resignation letter released Thursday told Mr. Trump that he was doing so “because you have the right to have a secretary of defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position.”

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