Republican Senator Lindsey Graham spoke out on CBS political talk show Face The Nation today, saying that the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan “set the conditions for another 9/11.”
Host Ed O’Keefe asked Graham, no fan of President Joe Biden’s handling of the situation, what he would have done differently.
“Well, number one, I wouldn’t have withdrawn,” Graham said. “I would have kept the counterterrorism forces on the ground. Your reporter indicated that when we have people on the ground working with indigenous forces, that’s the best insurance policy against another 9/11. I would have held the Taliban to the conditions set out in the agreement with Trump.”
Graham then painted a chilling picture of where he believes the situation is at.
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“It’s been a very emotional couple of days for all of us. The parade of horribles are about to unfold. We’re leaving thousands of Afghan allies behind who fought bravely with us. We’re going to leave hundreds of American citizens behind. The chance of another 9/11 just went through the roof. These drone attacks will not degrade ISIS. The number of ISIS fighters have doubled. We’ve turned our back on our allies who’s going to help us in our- in the future. And we set the conditions for another 9/11.”
He went on to say that he has “never been more worried about an attack on our homeland than I am right now. And we did not end this war. President Biden said that he wanted to take this- Afghanistan off the plate for future presidents. He’s done the exact opposite. For the next 20 years, American presidents will be dealing with this catastrophe in Afghanistan. This war has not ended. We’ve entered into a new deadly chapter. Terrorists are now in charge of Afghanistan.”
The Taliban should not be recognized as the legitimate government in Afghanistan, Graham said. “You don’t want to recognize a terrorist group who takes land by force.”
He also claimed that terrorists around the world would be studying the playbook if the Biden administration was forced to ransom any Americans left behind.
“Our counsel, the Biden administration, do not legitimize the Taliban, do not recognize them, because if you do, you’re going to put Americans at risk all over the world because other terrorist organizations will say how the best way to get America’s attention and legitimacy is to kidnap some Americans or people who fought with America. We’re in a very dangerous situation in Afghanistan. And I worry about the consequences of how we deal with Afghanistan can affect our footprint all over the world.”
He also questioned the advice Biden received.
“Whose decision was it to pull all the troops out? Was it good advice, ignored? I just don’t know. I think he should be facing a lot of consequences here, because the one thing he wanted to do, and he’s a decent man, it’s not about him being a decent man, is he wanted to end the war in Afghanistan and make sure we didn’t have to deal with it in the future. He’s done the exact opposite. General Biden’s fingerprints are all over this. He’s created the conditions for ISIS to flourish in Afghanistan. They’ve doubled the number of troops available because of the jailbreak. A terrorist organization called the Taliban is now in charge of the country. The likelihood of an attack on our homeland is through the roof. It was medium a month ago. It’s got to be high as hell right now.”