Ron Paul: Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this rule. It’s been described rather vividly on this side of the aisle how messy this process is, so I strongly oppose this. Of course, I also strongly oppose the funding, especially the funding for the war. This is a war that I’ve objected to for a very long time, this war is going badly, it’s not a declared war. We don’t have a precise enemy. The Taliban is the spoken enemy, and yet the Taliban are individuals who have never committed terrorism outside their homeland. The Taliban is an outgrowth of the Mujahedeen who we were at one time allies with, along with Osama Bin Laden.
So it isn’t a very neat little war. Here we are, we are the most powerful nation in the world, the most powerful army ever organized in the history of the world. And yet we are fighting a war that essentially is not a war. We’re fighting a war against individuals that have no tanks, no planes, no ships, no modern technology, and we’re not doing well. There is something wrong. If it were truly a war, a declared war, and we knew who the enemy was, the war would be over. The fact that the war is not over after 9 years, it’s draining us, it’s draining us of life and limb, it’s draining us of funding. The wars in the Middle East have drained trillions of dollars, and we are suffering from a severe financial crisis here at home.
So it’s time that we start looking abroad and looking at what we’re trying to maintain. We’re in over 130 countries, 900 bases. It’s unsustainable. It was brought to attention this past week that we were having problems. If we were doing well in Afghanistan, we wouldn’t be firing our generals. We want to put the blame on the generals, “if we changed the generals, then everything is going to be okay.” But our generals are trained to fight wars, they’re not trained to be nation builders and social workers and policemen. So this is a war that I see is going to be very difficult, if not impossible to win until we change our policy.