Tags: Barack Obama | ISIS/Islamic State | Middle East | SOTU 2015 | War on Terrorism | lindsey graham | isis

Lindsey Graham: I'll Vote for Force Authorization Against ISIS

By    |   Tuesday, 20 Jan 2015 08:31 PM

Sen. Lindsey Graham told CNN he will vote for an authorization for the use of force against the Islamic State (ISIS) that President Barack Obama plans to ask for during his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Appearing on "Erin Burnett OutFront," the South Carolina Republican said he just arrived Tuesday morning from a trip to Saudi Arabia where he met with officials of the Free Syrian government.

"Our strategy when it comes to Syria is not working," Graham said. "ISIL, ISIS is stronger than Syria than they've ever been."

But the use of force will be of little effect, he said, if nothing is done to blunt the effect of Syrian President Bashar Assad's air power.

"There's an unholy alliance between Assad's regime and ISIL," Graham told CNN. "The Syrians told us that ISIS sells oil and wheat to Assad, financing the war. He's getting oil from ISIS, and they're getting money and weapons."

The Free Syrian Army is in the middle, he said. The United States is training FSA members to return and fight ISIS in the three-way civil war, but Assad's air force will simply kill them once they've beaten ISIS, Graham said.

"This strategy is going to fail," he said. "It's immoral and militarily unsound."

American boots on the ground will eventually be needed, Graham said. The United States has tried to employ Arab neighbors to provide ground troops, but has found few takers.

"There is no mythical Arab army available to root ISIS out of Syria without some American help," he said.

With the Yemeni government in danger of collapse from Iranian-backed Shia rebels, Graham warned that four Arab capitals are substantially controlled by Iran.

"You've got Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen under the influence of Iranian agents," he said. "There's going to be a bloodletting between Sunis and Shias in the Middle East like you've never seen."

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Sen. Lindsey Graham told CNN he will vote for an authorization for the use of force against the Islamic State (ISIS) that President Barack Obama plans to ask for during his State of the Union address on Tuesday.
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2015-31-20
Tuesday, 20 Jan 2015 08:31 PM
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