(USA Features) Sen. Lindsey Graham told a British television news program that he believes U.S. troops will have to be sent back into Afghanistan at some point in the near future.
In an interview with BBC’s “HARDtalk,” Graham said he was basing his prediction on President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw all U.S. troops as well as the Taliban’s re-emergence as the controlling force in the country.
“We’ll have to because the threat will be so large,” Graham said.
“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 said, referencing the policy of trying to defend against potential terrorist attacks from outside of Afghanistan.
The South Carolina Republican also said that he doesn’t believe the Taliban have changed at all and suggested that anyone in the Biden administration who does is misguided.
“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.
He then offered up a plan for how to deal with the current situation in Afghanistan to prevent the Taliban, as well as other elements including al-Qaeda and ISIS-K, from using the country as a base to plan and launch new attacks against the West.
“Help the resistance in the Tangi Valley. The Taliban will not be able to govern Afghanistan. They’re hated by the Afghan people,” Graham 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.”
Graham then attempted to inform the BBC’s mostly European audience of how successful former President Donald Trump’s policies were in combatting terrorism.
“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,” Graham, an Air Force veteran lawyer, added.