Mitt Romney may have bowed out of Presidential contention (though a few hardcore pundits are still predicting a last-minute re-entry when no one effectively fulfills the “unappealing moderate” role), but Lindsay Graham is ensuring that there is still a Presidential contender present who no one asked for and no one wanted. Graham’s candidacy, which is predicated on “Safety Through Security” focuses primarily on foreign policy, an area where other Presidential candidates are already faltering, but which Graham is most famous for.
Agree with his policy of bombing the ever-loving snot out of our enemies at the possible expense of Eastern Europe (a strategy which looks, in bits, better and worse depending on things like Greek elections and Polish futbol supremacy), or not, Lindsay Graham has come out of the gate swinging. While his competitors are waffling on how to best address our most pressing foreign policy issues, Graham has decided that the best way to show the supremacy of America’s military power is to declare open season on ISIS with ground troops.
Senator Lindsey Graham wants to put 10,000 “boots on the ground” to confront the Islamic State
The South Carolina Republican, who on Thursday premiered a political action committee aimed at exploring a run for president, told Face the Nation on Sunday that the terrorist organization could launch an attack on the U.S. that would be like “Paris on steroids” and that the group won’t stop executing hostages aide workers and journalists until “they’re degraded and destroyed.”
“An aerial campaign will not destroy them,” Graham said. “You’re going to need boots on the ground, not only in Iraq, but in Syria.”
Before we all get reasonably outraged at the idea of re-declaring war in Iraq, favored Presidential contender Scott Walker also mentioned that we might have to be prepared to put boots on the ground to fight the Islamic State, though he shied away from mentioning that they might have to be ours, a consolation Lindsay Graham was not prepared to give. Another Face the Nation guest, former Secretary of State James Baker, suggested that perhaps we could leverage our relationship with Turkey and Saudi Arabia and offer to provide air strikes, strategy and intelligence if they provided the ground troops, but that sounds a bit pie-in-the-sky, unless a bunch of Middle Eastern leaders suddenly all fall on their heads at the same time. I can’t say that last part is going to happen anytime soon, which puts us all in a bit of a pickle.
Honestly, this is probably going to be Graham’s only contribution to the 2016 contest: providing a hawkish voice where there is none. And at the risk of sounding too much like I support him, it’s not a terribly bad idea, as long as he doesn’t, say, go on to win or anything. In order to compete with a former Secretary of State, there’s going to need to be some base of foreign policy knowledge in the Republican field, even if it is a bit…strong.
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