WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last week, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) attempted to stop the flow of billions of U.S. tax dollars to Afghanistan’s security personnel. Why? Because he’s a libertarian?
No. It wasn’t ideological. Paul is outraged over reports of alleged widespread sexual abuse of Afghan children by members of the Afghan military and police, groups which receive billions in U.S. aid on an annual basis, a problem that has been under a microscope by U.S. media for some time, but two powerful colleagues on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee leaders pushed back against Paul’s attempt to draw a line in the sand.
Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) and Democrat Ranking Member Bob Menendez (D-NJ) threw their collective weight behind “a counter-amendment to require the Departments of Defense and State to report on implementation of recommendations made by SIGAR on ending the practice.“ In other words, nothing will change, at least for now.
“Having a report on this will have no effect, and I think essentially turns a blind eye to a horrific practice that’s going on there,” Paul reportedly retorted. “I think many of us here would say we should have zero tolerance for having sex slaves.”
The Senator vented his frustration on Twitter:
“Corker, Menendez block Paul’s amendment to defund Pedophilia in Afghanistan” https://t.co/557mF1DwMF
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) October 2, 2018
The story-line is uncomfortable for Menendez given persistent past allegations, most recently echoed by prosecutors at his corruption trial, that he engaged underage prostitutes during overseas trips.