Sen. Lindsey Graham on invading Syria to defeat ISIS

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) talking about invading Syria to stop ISIS.


LG: To get ISIL out of Syria where they have their largest haven, you’re probably going to need 100,000 troops — about 10,000 American.

And we need to go in there and clean these guys out and hold the territory.

There are thousands of foreign fighters in Syria, many of them have Western passports, they’re going to hit us if we don’t do something about it.

And that’s going to require us, partnering with people in the region, Arab armies, providing capabilities they don’t have, to take these guys on and hold the territory once you take it.

Q: Just so I understand, are you suggesting an invasion of Syria?

LG: I’m suggesting that somebody better go in on the ground and destroy ISIL in Syria, they aren’t going to surrender.

Q: But it’s got to be at least US lead?

LG: There’s gotta be Arab generated Armies with a US component. We have air forces. They don’t. We have technical abilities. They don’t.

There is no way you’re gonna go in and hold the ground after you take it without an American component.

It is in our national security interest to destroy ISIL before they hit us here at home. It is in our national security interest to have some of our soldiers over there preventing them from coming here again. We’re gonna have another 9/11 if we don’t do something about this. The storm clouds are gathering over in Syria and Iraq and Yemen.

And at the end of the day the Arabs need to do most of the fighting, but to think we can defend America with no troops over there is naive.

And I’m here to tell people, if I’m Commander in Chief we’re gonna do what’s necessary.

We’ll need thousands of our soldiers over there helping armies in the region to do things they can’t do to protect millions of us here at home.

Hear the whole interview at


  1. Anon says:

    When has there been a multi national military campaign in the last 100 years that was only 10% American? He is insane if he thinks Arab countries will put 90% of the troops in the fight.

    He is the second coming of Dick Cheney.

  2. Anonymous says:

    My questions to Lindsey Graham go something like this.

    First, we in the West don’t understand the pivotal, social values of people in the Middle East. What motivates Americans, the things we live & die for, aren’t necessarily what Middle Eastern people will live and die for.

    Second, religious differences. You’ve got the Shia (the ethnic Persians in Iran) backing the Houthi rebels in Yemen and both Hesballah (in Lebanon, having coopted the Lebanese State and threatening Israel) and the Assad Regime (in what’s left of Syria). Then you’ve got the Sunni, pan-Arab world in ferment, having tired of authoritarian regimes, more of whom were U.S. allies than U.S. enemies. Chief among our allies are the Saudis, whose kingdom is home to the Wahabist, fundamentalist Muslims supporting a wide variety of bad actors, including the Taliban in Afghanistan and what we call ISIL (the Arabs call it “Daesh”) in Iraq.

    Overlay onto the religious differences the historic animosity between the Arabs and the Persians that has been going on for thousands of years, indeed back to Biblical times. In this longer, 3,000 year context, the return of the Jews to their historic home is seen locally as nothing more than Western intervention, a foothold in an area the West doesn’t understand, doesn’t belong, that it has forced itself into in an effort to secure an oil supply.

    Lindsey Graham doesn’t have the brains, brawn or balls to use American power in this region. Its a snake pit that we don’t understand. The Romans can’t be forgiven for their behavior, but I can at least understand when, after raising Jerusalem and scattering the residents of Palestine throughout the ancient, known world, they raised ancient Israel to the ground and sowed that ground with salt. Those people and their values live on throughout the present day Middle East. Those values can be summarized simply as “Don’t frak with us. We’re not worth the trouble.”

    Lets invest in renewable energy, fracking, etc, and secure our own supplies, secure our borders, and kick back and watch our own with care. If trouble gets out of the Middle East – and we should watch our borders actively – deal with it with overwhelming violence & speed. Anything else invites a bad ROI.

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