South Carolina U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham is continuing his call for more U.S. troops to be deployed to Afghanistan. Appearing on CBS’ Face The Nation” Sunday morning. Graham said President Barack Obama should grant General Stanley McChrystal’s request for 40,000 more troops. Graham says since he lasted visited Afghanistan, the situation has deteriorated and security for civilians is tenuous at best.
“You could have 10,000 State Department lawyers working over there on the rule of law, you can have all kinds of agricultural experts trying to help do away with the drug problem and replace it with commercial agriculture. You just can’t travel. Civilians just can’t operate right now so we need more combat power, not just us but NATO to take the fight back to the Taliban because they have re-emerged.”
Graham says the results of not getting the added troops will likely be disastrous, We’re going to lose, we’ll be driven out. The Taliban will come back stronger than they were before. the moderates in Afghanistan will go back into hiding or get killed. NATO will be seen as a failure and America will have to go it alone in the future. we cannot let NATO fail in Afghanistan. This is NATO’s fight not just America’s fight. The Taliban has come back for a reason, but the good news is the Afghan people don’t want them back.”
Graham says if the U.S. and NATO do not step up its efforts to win in Afghanistan, America will face a possible trifecta of potential disasters in the Middle East. “If Iran is not checked its going to have a nuclear weapon in the next 18 months, if we don’t reinforce Afghanistan now and turn around the military situation the Taliban is going to take over part or all of Afghanistan, and if NATO doesn’t jump into the fight with both feet they’re going to become a paper tiger. We could have three major disasters that would affect our national security for years to come if we use half measures.”
Graham says he’s concerned that another tempest is brewing in the Middle East, namely Iran’s efforts to develop a nuclear weapon. Graham says the U.S. AND NATO must pick up its efforts in Afghanistan in order to send a clear message to Iran. “This regime needs to be sent a message that the international community is deadly serious about stopping their nuclear program. We have not tried meaningful sanctions yet. we have a little bit of time before we do that. at the end of the day if the worst that can happen to this country in my view is for Iran to get a nuclear weapon because that changes everything in the Middle East for the worst and what we do in Afghanistan I think will affect the outcome in Iran.
Graham says looking ahead if Iran is allowed to create a nuclear weapon the Middle East would become an even more volatile region. “The Sunni Arab states in the region will want a nuclear weapon. Israel becomes much at risk and we’re walking down the road to Armageddon. We have about 18 months, using the international community to decisively act with no more half measures. China is supplying one-third of the refined petroleum to Iran. They need to join wit the Russians, the United States and the rest of the international community to bring this regime to reality.”
Graham says sanctions are only effective if they change behavior.