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Rand Paul: Trump poised for draw down in Afghanistan, Syria pullout

• https://www.politico.com, By BURGESS EVERETT

Paul met with Trump privately and in a larger meeting with other senators on the president's plans to wind down the U.S. presence in Syria. While Paul would not talk specifics of Trump's plans, he said that the president recognizes "we've been at war too long and in too many places."

"Not only is he following through on his Syria policy, I really do think there will be changes in Afghanistan as well," Paul said in a conference call with reporters. "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 said. "The president does acknowledge that America's longest war does need to come to a close."

Most GOP senators have been pressing the president to do the opposite: Slow the withdrawal from Syria and keep a large presence in Afghanistan. Those hawkish senators, some of whom attended the larger briefing with Trump, have made the case that the Islamic State and other terrorist groups may fill the vacuum left when the U.S. pulls out.

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