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Reporter Stunned When Graham Says U.S. Would Reinvade Afghanistan To Fight Al Qaeda

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


Sen. Lindsey Graham turned heads earlier this week when he predicted that the U.S. would have to re-invade Afghanistan because the ruling Taliban government would once again foment terrorism and allow attacks to be planned on, and launched from, the country.

That includes the BBC “HARDTalk” presenter Stephen Sackur, who appeared stunned when the South Carolina Republican made his statement.

“But most importantly, they’re going to give safe haven to Al Qaeda who has ambitions to drive us out of the Mid East writ large and attack us because of our way of life.”

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“We will be going back into Afghanistan, as we went back into Iraq and Syria.”

“Whether you like [former President Donald Trump] or not, whether you believe it’s Trump’s fault or Biden’s fault, here’s where we are as a world: The Taliban are not reformed, are not new,” Graham said.

“They have a view of the world out of sync with modern times. They’re going to impose a lifestyle on the Afghan people that I think is going to make us all sick to our stomach,” he continued.

“Most importantly, they’re going to give safe haven to al-Qaeda who has ambitions to drive us out of the Middle East and attack us because of our way of life. We will be going back into Afghanistan as we went back into Iraq and Syria,” he predicted.

“Hang on. You seriously think the United States will once again, in the foreseeable future, put troops back into Afghanistan?” Sackur said.

“We’ll have to. We’ll have to. Because the threat will be so large. It will be a cauldron for radical Islamic behavior,” Graham said, to Sackur’s bewilderment.

“Why did we go back to Syria and Iraq? Why do we have 5,000 troops in Iraq today? [It’s] because of the caliphate rising, projecting force outside of Iraq, killing Americans, killing the French, attacking the British,” Graham said.

“So, yes, it will be a cauldron for radical Islamic behavior. You cannot deal with this over the horizon,” Graham added.

Graham, an Air Force vet and retired military lawyer, also offered up a plan for how to deal with the Taliban and their region of the world moving forward.

“Help the resistance in the Tangi Valley. The Taliban will not be able to govern Afghanistan. They’re hated by the Afghan people,” he said.

“What’s going to happen over time is you’re going to see the resistance rise, ISIS will come after the Taliban [big-time], and the entire country is going fracture in the next year, creating a perfect storm for Western interest to be attacked,” said Graham. “You can do one of two things. You can say, ‘That’s no longer my problem,’ or hit them before they hit you.”

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Graham also touted former President Donald Trump’s actions and policies, whom he noted “destroyed” the ISIS “caliphate” early in his presidency.

“He destroyed the [ISIS] caliphate. It rose on [former President Barack] Obama and Biden’s watch and Trump sent the military in to destroy it,” Graham said.

“When he left, there were 2,500 U.S. soldiers on the ground with NATO allies. They’re no longer there,” he continued.

“He killed [Iran’s Qassem Soleimani], which I think is a good thing. He rebuilt the military in a fashion where we could be effective all over the globe. The deterioration of the military during the Obama years was real,”

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