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Donald Trump Has Long Argued The U.S. Shouldn't Get Involved In Conflict For Humanitarian Reasons

Trump says he welcomes Russian airstrikes targeting ISIS in Syria, and that he would send Syrian refugees back to Syria.

Posted on October 1, 2015, at 9:20 a.m. ET

Darren Mccollester / Getty Images

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Keene, New Hampshire Wednesday night, Donald Trump said, as president, he would send Syrian refugees back to Syria, arguing that the refugees might actually be a "200,000 man army" for ISIS.

"I'm putting people on notice that are coming here from Syria as part of this mass migration. That if I win, they're going back. They're going back. I'm telling you," Trump said.

Trump also he said he welcomes Russian airstrikes in Syria and believes the Russians are targeting ISIS.

"Russia wants to get rid of ISIS. We want to get rid of ISIS. Maybe let Russia do it. Let them get rid of ISIS. What the hell do we care?" Trump told 60 Minutes on Sunday.

The comments are in line with a position Trump laid out first in his book The America We Deserve 15 years ago -- the U.S. should not get overly involved in conflicts for humanitarian reasons.

"Humanitarian concerns, which are sometimes represented as working in our 'national interest,' are not good enough reasons in themselves for deployment of forces," writes Trump, who goes on to say the U.S. doesn't "have a dog" in most of the world's conflicts.

Trump says the U.S. has no right to intervene just because we don't like seeing innocent people being killed.

"That's not to say our hearts don't go out to people whose countries are being ravaged by war," writes The Donald. "Far from it. Our hearts do go out to them, and so does a lot of U.S. humanitarian aid. But we have no business, and certainly no right, to intervene in conflicts just because we don't like to see innocent people being killed or dislocated. Just after we started bombing the European capital of Belgrade, a poll came out saying that a majority of Americans thought it was our 'right' to get into this longstanding and bloody dispute. I disagree."

Citing The Balkan War at the time, Trump said the U.S. intervening does little more temporary tilting the balance of war in the conflict.

"Yet it should be clear by now that when we intervene in these conflicts we do little more than temporarily tilt the balance of power," writes The Donald. "Sometimes, as in the Balkan mess, we're allies with one side for a while, then shift our support to the other side. In the first place, we don't have any idea of how to build democracies in these countries, even if such a thing were possible or desired by them. To top it off, we are deploying troops at the same time we are cutting defense expenditures. None of this makes one bit of sense."

Trump wrote the U.S. could give money, but only intervene if there was a direct threat to the U.S. at the time.

"Make no mistake, I love the American desire to help others," he writes. "The American public will give the disadvantaged money and aid with no expectation of return. They give simply because they know it is the right thing to do. We are the greatest of all humanitarian nations.

"At the same time, we must not get involved in a long-festering conflict for humanitarian reasons. If that's our standard, we should have troops stationed all over Africa, and much of Asia as well. We will provide humanitarian assistance, but when our men and women volunteer in our armed forces it should be with the strict understanding that they will be sent into danger's way only in cases where our national survival is directly affected. Young people now enlist, thinking they're signing up to protect America, and end up responding to and end up responding to a palace coup in a country few ever heard of."

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