Republican presidential contender Sen. Lindsey Graham advocated for a greater offense against the Islamic State group and outlined a military strategy to combat the terrorist group if he were elected president.
In an interview Aug. 23 on “Fox News Sunday,” Graham commented on the Aug. 22 thwarted attack by Ayoub El-Khazani on a train headed to Paris, France. He said the incident was another example of lack of U.S. forces to fight enemies overseas.
“The whole world is a battlefield and radical Islam is everywhere,” he said. When he was asked whether passports from “certain regions” should be limited by the U.S. government, Graham said: “Absolutely. I think we need to be a nation at war. We’re letting our defenses down. We’re not acting like we’re at war anymore. We’re acting like we’re trying to fight a crime. It’s going to come back to bite us.”
Graham’s plan as commander in chief to combat the Islamic State would involve deploying a “surge” of 10,000 U.S. soldiers to Syria and Iraq, the two nations where the terrorist group holds the most influence. Graham’s purposed “surge” mirrors that of former President George W. Bush’s surge in Iraq in 2006 and 2007, when up to 150,000 ground troops were fighting overseas, The Huffington Post noted.
Graham also criticized his GOP opponent, Donald Trump, for his strategy to defeat the terror group.
“Here is what Mr. Trump says: 'Go to Iraq and Syria and take their oil, use it for our benefit.' Not only will that destroy (Islamic State), that will turn everybody in Iraq and Syria against us and be a great recruiting boon for (Islamic State),” Graham warned. “I don’t think a plan like that is worthy of the commander in chief.”
In the U.S., Graham has made sure to state his support for Muslim Americans. At a campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa, in July, Graham was confronted by an onlooker who suggested the next president outlaw Islam in America.
“I don’t want you to vote for me,” Graham said back. “I couldn’t disagree with you more.”