Sep 18 2014

Graham on Iraqi Prime Minister's Statement on Fighting ISIL

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said this in response to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi saying there was no need for the United States or international coalition partners to send troops into Iraq to fight ISIL.

"First, I'm disappointed to hear the Prime Minister currently does not believe American or international forces will be needed to fight ISIL in Iraq. I hope he will reconsider this decision in the days and weeks to come.

"If the Prime Minister sticks with this position, I believe the chances of rolling back ISIL will be greatly diminished. It will also mean the war against ISIL will go on longer, more blood will be shed, and the chances of retaking lost territory captured by ISIL will decrease.

"ISIL is a hardened enemy and I worry the Iraqi Prime Minister may be over-estimating the capability of the Iraqi military forces to degrade and destroy this global enemy. The Iraqi military is in shambles while the capability that American Special Forces provide is unmatched throughout the world.

"Second, President Obama came into office committed to removing American troops from Iraq. Unfortunately, for our own national security interests, he was successful in that goal. Removing American troops from Iraq was a short-term political win for President Obama. But as we have now seen, it is proving to be a long-term national security loss for the United States. Today, the United States is currently seen, certainly in some Iraqi quarters, as a less than reliable ally.

"In addition, how could the Prime Minister request ground troops after President Obama has publicly and repeatedly said he will not be sending them?"