Lindsey Graham, GOP presidential candidate and South Carolina’s senior Senator, warned Sunday that America is going to be hit again in a massive, 9/11-style attack by terrorists if the United States, along with its allies, does not wage war against ISIS and put boots on the ground.
“In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on ‘State of the Union’ Graham said he hopes France will invoke a NATO provision that would draw its allies into a war against ISIS,” CNN reported today. His comments come two days after ISIS claimed responsibility for the coordinated attacks in Paris that left nearly 130 dead and over 400 injured. Approximately 100 victims remain hospitalized in critical condition.
“There is a 9/11 coming, and it is coming from Syria if we don’t disrupt their operation inside of Syria,” the 60-year-old Senator and former Air Force Reserve colonel said. “I’m trying to protect America from another 9/11, and without American boots on the ground in Syria and Iraq, we’re gonna get hit here at home. And if you don’t understand that, you’re not ready to be commander-in-chief, in my view.”
Graham said 10,000 American troops should join coalition armies on the ground in a military offensive. “If we don’t do these things soon, what you’ve seen in Paris is coming to America,” he said.
Adds the HuffPost: “Graham and other Republicans running for president have called on the White House to develop a more urgent military strategy for dealing with ISIS. Not all have been as hawkish as Graham, however.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) agreed that the U.S. should ramp up airstrikes against ISIS strongholds, but stopped short of advocating ground troops in another Middle Eastern war.
“I think it’s premature to say the exact numbers,” Rubio said Sundays on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos. “The best fighters on the ground are proving to be the Kurds, and to some extent the Sunni tribes who are autonomous, but we’re not directly supporting them. So that needs to begin to happen.”
Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communication, said that although ISIS certainly has “aspirations” to attack America, there is no evidence of any impending assault on U.S. soil.
“Our determination is there’s not a specific, credible threat to the homeland at this time,” Rhodes said, according to ABC News. “But we’re going to be very vigilant because we know ISIL has the aspirations to attack the United States as well as our European and other allies and partners.”
In late October, the Obama administration announced that Special Operations troops would be deployed to Syria, though the number of troops assigned would be small and will play a largely “advisory” role.
Your thoughts below: Do you feel another 9/11 attack is forthcoming? Do you agree with Senator Lindsey Graham?