A member of the Senate Arms Services Committee, South Carolina U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham says the situation in Afghanistan has gotten worse. Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday, Graham says the United States must deploy more troops in the region. Graham says more troops and resources are also needed from NATO allies.
“Afghanistan has deteriorated. In July of last year, the President said when he was a candidate for office that Afghanistan not Iraq was the central battlefront on the war on Terror. I disagreed then because at that time Iraq hung in the balance, Iraq is more stable. The President is right, Afghanistan is now the central battlefront on the War on Terror. That means more of everything is needed there, more troops, more political engagement, more economic engagement.”
Graham says his fellow members of Congress must come to the realization that securing Afghanistan is now job one as far as effectively fighting the War on Terror is concerned. “If Afghanistan becomes a chaotic situation, it affects Pakistan and that means we’ll need more of everything . My message to my Democratic colleagues is we made mistakes in Iraq, let’s not “Rumsfeld” Afghanistan, let’s not do this thing on the cheap. Let’s have enough combat power and engagement across the board to make sure we’re successful. Quite frankly, we’ve got a lot of ground to make up.”
Graham says while America must continue to take the lead, its up to NATO allies to pull their weight in fighting the War on Terror. “America is now paying 90 percent of the Afghan Army. NATO contributed $100 million when gates passed the hat to help pay for the Afghan Army. I urge our NATO allies to submit more troops, more funding and I’ll be shocked if more troops aren’t needed. We must secure Afghanistan and it is not secure now.”
Graham acknowledges that President Obama has the support from NATO allies, now its time they show it by becoming more active and supportive in Afghanistan. “The President has a lot of political capital around the world. He’s come up with a new engagement strategy. Hopefully, they will reward the President by helping him. But we have to do it no matter what NATO does because we have to make sure Afghanistan is secure.”