WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement following news that Iranian proxies have once again attacked American forces in Syria. This is the second attack launched against Americans in Syria in less than twenty-four hours.
“President Biden and his national security team are letting America down. I fear General Milley and Secretary of Defense Austin are not proving to be up to the task of providing the deterrence America needs to remain safe. However, the ultimate blame for the failing foreign policy and military situation we find ourselves in lies with President Biden.
“President Biden owes it to those Americans fighting radical Islam to respond vigorously to any attack on them and their position by Iranian proxies. The weak, uncertain response to the initial attack obviously did not work. I fear additional weak and uncertain responses will lead to more American deaths and further embolden our enemies.
“America has only one path available when attacked – respond swiftly and vigorously with overwhelming, punishing force designed to make enemies wary of engaging with the United States. Being strong is the best deterrence against future attacks.
“Iran is a radical Islamic theocracy who openly calls for the destruction of Israel, constantly refers to the United States as the ‘Great Satan’ and at every turn attempts to purify Islam in their own image. Their goal is clear - they want to drive the United States out of the Middle East so they can dominate the region. Allowing Iran to have more influence in the Middle East is not in America’s interest and is suicidal for Israel. We simply cannot allow them to kill Americans.
“The limited number of American forces that are in Syria and Iraq are there to protect our country against the reemergence of radical Islam. Left unchecked, these forces would regenerate and once again launch attacks in the United States and against our allies around the world. President Obama and Vice President Biden made the mistake of pulling all American troops out of Iraq. It led to the rise of ISIS, establishment of a Caliphate in Raqqa and spawned attacks by radical jihadists in both Europe and the United States. We must not repeat that mistake again.
“Finally, the U.S. Senate this week sent a terrible signal when it comes to Iran and the fight against radical Islam. We saw efforts to repeal the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) in Iraq without any effort to replace it with one focused on using force against Iranian backed militias. Congress must be clear in telling the Iranian proxies that you attack American forces at your own peril. Instead, the actions taking place in the Senate – to our enemies at least - are the sounds of retreat.”