Dec 15 2015

Graham On President Obama's Meeting with National Security Council

Contact: Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417 or Clint Riddle (202) 224-5972

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement today following President Obama’s meeting at the Pentagon with his National Security Council.

“President Obama’s visit to the Pentagon today has changed nothing. He is still underselling the threats, overselling our successes and relying on an air campaign that can never destroy ISIL.

“While there have been some tactical gains in Iraq and Syria, there is still no strategy to destroy the Caliphate. These tactical gains have been more than offset by the expansion of ISIL beyond Iraq and Syria, including into Libya where they have captured Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte.

“The President’s reluctance to increase American boots on the ground in Iraq to destroy ISIL and his refusal to create a regional army to go into Syria to destroy the Caliphate, guarantees our next President will have to deal with this problem.

“At the end of the day, President Obama’s plan is not to destroy ISIL but instead to contain the threat and pass it on to the next President.

“When it comes to ISIL, however, time is not on our side. The Paris attack was well planned and very sophisticated. I fear that another 9/11 is being planned by ISIL leadership in Raqqa, Syria today. Unless we go in on the ground to destroy the Caliphate and disrupt their operations, it's only a matter of time before that plan is realized.

“President Obama’s unwillingness to work with his military commanders to develop a strategy to destroy ISIL as quickly as possible increases the threat to the American homeland.”