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Ron Paul says keep US troops at home

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul said today that he does not believe American troops should be stationed anywhere around the world.

Paul, a representative from Texas, was asked on CBS’s “Face the Nation” by host Bob Schieffer, “Do you think there’s any place in the world US forces should be stationed?”

Paul responded “No.” He explained, “Other than the fact I think a submarine is a very worthwhile weapon, I believe we can defend ourselves with submarines and all our troops back at home.”

Paul said with the US recently testing a new hypersonic weapon, which can strike anywhere around the world in less than an hour, it is an “old fashioned idea” that the United States needs troops in 900 bases worldwide. He also said the United States is “bankrupt” and cannot afford the same military presence.

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“Those troops overseas aggravate our enemies, motivate our enemies,” Paul said. “I think it’s a danger to national defense, and we can save a lot of money cutting out the military expenditures that contribute nothing to our defense.”

In other topics, Paul stood by statements he made in the past that American policies contributed to the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. “Our policies definitely had an influence,” Paul said. “You talk to the people who committed it and those individuals who would like to do us harm, and they say we don’t like American bombs to be falling on our country, we don’t like the intervention we do in their nation…To argue they want to do us harm because we’re free and prosperous is a dangerous notion because it’s not true.”

Paul also said he opposed using sanctions or force to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. “We have 12,000 diplomats. I’m suggesting that maybe we ought to use some of them,” Paul said.

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Shira Schoenberg can be reached at sschoenberg@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shiraschoenberg.