Donald Trump Will Withdraw From Afghanistan and Syria, Rand Paul Says: 'I've Never Been Prouder of the President'

Senator Rand Paul suggested that President Donald Trump would not only deliver on his pledge to withdraw all American troops from Syria but would also end America's 17-year involvement in Afghanistan.

Paul—a Kentucky Republican and one of Trump's staunch supporters in the Senate—told reporters Wednesday that the president would deliver on his pledge to bring American troops home, Politico reported.

Read More: Turkey says attack that killed U.S. troops in Syria may be tied to Donald Trump's plan to leave

Paul took a conference call with journalists after meeting with Trump privately to discuss his plans to end U.S. involvement in Syria, where some 2,000 troops are currently deployed.

Though the senator would not reveal the details of their conversation, he said Trump believes "we've been at war too long and in too many places."

Paul also wrote on Twitter that he had "never been prouder of President Donald Trump."

I have never been prouder of President Donald Trump. In today’s meeting, he stood up for a strong America and steadfastly opposed foreign wars. Putting America First means declaring victory in Afghanistan and Syria. President Trump is delivering on his promises.

— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 16, 2019

"In today's meeting, he stood up for a strong America and steadfastly opposed foreign wars," he tweeted. "Putting America First means declaring victory in Afghanistan and Syria. President Trump is delivering on his promises."

The president has reportedly clashed with military advisers and generals about U.S. overseas deployments, while also making bellicose foreign policy statements and threats of military strikes against countries such as North Korea, Venezuela and Iran.

Officials have been able to control most of the president's military impulses. But Trump left the Pentagon reeling in December when he suddenly announced that American troops in Syria helping the fight against ISIS would be withdrawn.

Opponents of the plan criticized Trump for making a rash decision that would endanger both the U.S. and its allies, particularly Kurdish forces who were facing the possibility of a Turkish offensive to dislodge them from areas won from ISIS control in recent years.

Though the White House is yet to provide a detailed timetable for the withdrawal, some U.S. equipment has started leaving the country. But in Paul's opinion, America's foreign drawdown won't stop there.

"Not only is he following through on his Syria policy, I really do think there will be changes in Afghanistan as well," the senator said. "In general, the idea is that we're going to do things differently. We're not going to stay forever. The Afghans will have to step up.

"It's not that we'll do nothing…we'll probably still be there longer than I would like," Paul clarified. "The president does acknowledge that America's longest war does need to come to a close."

Trump has regularly shown his disdain for American involvement in Afghanistan and criticized the strategy of his generals. After 17 years, the nation remains mired in a war few think Washington can win. Recent years have seen the battle-hardened Taliban grow bolder and more ambitious, while the emergence of an in-country ISIS affiliate has further complicated the matter.

Many Republican senators, including Lindsey Graham, have urged Trump to retain U.S. forces in Afghanistan for fear a withdrawal would create a power vacuum in which extremist groups could thrive and plan future strikes against the U.S.

Trump's Syria plans came into focus again on Wednesday as four Americans were killed by a suicide bomb attack in the city of Manbij. ISIS claimed the attack, which targeted a restaurant used by American and Kurdish troops patrolling the area.

The attack—the deadliest for Americans since Washington first intervened in the country in 2014—raised fears that Trump's planned withdrawal was emboldening extremist groups. But according to Paul, Trump remains committed to fighting terror organizations while also planning to bring Americans home.

"We talked extensively about Syria, he talked about how we will continue to make sure that ISIS not a problem," Paul explained. "At the same time, we won't be in these places forever."

US soldiers in Afghanistan
U.S. soldiers arrive at the site of a car bomb attack that targeted a NATO coalition convoy in Kabul, Afghanistan, on September 24, 2017. Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican and close ally of President Donald Trump, said the president would not only withdraw all American troops from Syria but would also end America's 17-year involvement in Afghanistan. WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP/Getty Images