US Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul has denounced the US military presence in the Middle East, calling for a full withdrawal of American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Speaking on the so-called Super Tuesday - the second Tuesday in March when voters take part in a 10-state race to choose their party’s presidential candidate, Paul said the current US-led wars and the presence of the US military in the Middle East are in violation of the American Constitution.
Paul, who was speaking to his supporters in North Dakota, added that he would significantly cut the US military budget, with his priority being the US “overseas spending” if elected president.
“Spend the money here at home if you have to but not overseas,” he said.
Paul noted that he would cut overseas spending as the US wars have caused all sorts of problems for Americans, including a skyrocketing national debt for the country.
“Just in these past 10 years, these wars that we're fighting in the Middle East, over 8,500 Americans have died, 44,000 have come back with serious injuries, and amputations and all kinds of problems, hundreds of thousands looking for help because of [the] post-traumatic stress syndrome, at the same time, economically, it's been very damaging. It has added $4 trillion to our national debt,” Paul further said.
He went on to say to his crowd of supporters, “that is what you're inheriting. This is the reason why it is so important, if you're talking about peace and prosperity, you have to change the Constitution and have a lot less war and make a lot more sincere effort to promote the cause of peace.”
The US Republican presidential contender also criticized the US President Barack Obama administration for violating individual liberties through its introduction of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the so-called Web Privacy Bill of Rights.
The NDAA which was signed into law by President Obama on New Year’s Eve codifies that US citizens can be detained indefinitely without charge and without trial.