Entries in Lindsey Graham (3)


Libyan Revolution Hailed by Four Visiting GOP Senators

ABC News(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- A quartet of Republican Senators visited Tripoli Thursday to meet with members of the Transitional National Council, the new leaders of Libya.

Speaking for the group, Arizona Sen. John McCain told reporters, "The Libyan people have inspired the world....We believe strongly that the people of Libya today are inspiring the people in Tehran, in Damascus and even in Beijing and Moscow."

McCain, who was in Libya's capital with Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mark Kirk of Illinois and Marco Rubio of Florida, also held talks with Libya's military commanders, who are directing rebels in their fight against forces still loyal to ousted dictator, Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

While the TNC now virtually controls nearly all of Libya, McCain also spoke of another serious crisis -- that of thousands of unaccounted pieces of Gadhafi's arsenal that include conventional and biological and chemical weapons.

The Arizona lawmaker, who supported U.S. and NATO efforts to back the rebels, said, "It's essential to continue working together to secure the many weapons and dangerous materials that the Gadhafi regime proliferated around this country."

McCain asserted that more is being done to find these arsenals before they wind up in the hands of Gadhafi's forces or Islamic militants who could transport them to other countries.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sen. Graham: Afghan Withdrawal Would Be ‘Colossal Mistake’

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- When 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney called for U.S. troops to leave Afghanistan at a debate last week, he ignited a discussion -- and perhaps division -- among Republicans who support a modest withdrawal of troops and those who are advocating a more rapid drawdown.

“It’s time for us to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can, consistent with the word that comes from our generals,” Romney said at the June 13 debate.

Fellow GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman has also come out against a significant continuing U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, while GOP 2012 presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul has perhaps come out the strongest, calling for an immediate withdrawal.

“I wouldn’t wait for my generals.  I’m the commander in chief.  I make the decisions," Paul said at the same June 13 debate.  "I tell the generals what to do and I would bring them home as quickly as possible.”   

The candidates’ views contrast with those of prominent Republicans Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who on Sunday spoke out against a rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“I wish that Candidate Romney and all the others would sit down with Gen. Petraeus and understand how this counterinsurgency is working and succeeding," McCain said on ABC's This Week.  

"And it still has enormous challenges; the Karzai government, the latest problems with Pakistan.  But for us to abandon Afghanistan to the tender mercies of the Taliban and radical Islamic extremists, I think, would be repeating the mistakes we made before,” he said.

McCain, ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the counterinsurgency strategy was succeeding, and that he was in support of a modest withdrawal of 5,000 to 10,000 troops.  

“It's clear that we do need to move into eastern Afghanistan and finish this fight with one more season,” he said.

Sen. Graham called precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan a potential national security mistake.

“If we accelerate withdrawal right now because we're war-weary, we're going to lose this war,” Graham said Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press.

“It is in our national security interest to make sure the Taliban never come back.  If we fail in Afghanistan, they will kill every moderate who tried to help us, and no one in the future will step up.  It will destabilize Pakistan beyond what exists today.  It will be a colossal national security mistake,” he said.

McCain said he anticipated congressional support for a modest withdrawal, but also a “huge debate.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sen. Lindsey Graham Concerned About State of Iraqi Government

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., just back from a trip to Iraq, says he was concerned the United States would "fumble the ball in Iraq."

Appearing on ABC’s This Week with Christiane Amanpour, Graham voiced worry that Iraqi politician Ayad Allawi "has said that this new government is a joke. If he feels that, that's disappointing," the senator said.

"It's very important we get a government formed in Iraq that's inclusive, that represents the results of the Iraqi election, and that is a reliable partner with the United States and the region. So I've got concerns about this new government. But we need to stay effectively involved," he said.

Graham preached bipartisanship on foreign policy. He said he is in the wing of the Republican Party "that wants to work with President Obama to end it well in Iraq, to get it right in Afghanistan, contain Iran through effective sanctions."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio