The Hill, October 17, 2015 - Republican 2016 hopeful Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says President Obama "just made up a number" on Afghan troop levels, and says more forces are needed to stabilize the country.
Graham told radio host John Catsimatidis on "The Cats Roundtable" airing on 970 New York on Sunday that Obama made the right move by keeping troops on the ground in Afghanistan, but caved to political pressure by agreeing cut the force in half by 2016.
“Here’s the one thing, this is typical Obama: 9,800 is what we have, and that’s what we need,” Graham said. “And he said, ‘Well, OK, I’m gonna leave ‘em there, but by the end of 2016, we’re going to 5,500’ – he just made up a number. He cut the base in half, so to speak.
“Typical Obama: doing the right thing, but then withdrawing at the end ‘cause you’re worried about politics,” he added.
Graham said that the president generally has no clue what he’s doing when it comes to foreign policy.
“Our foreign policy is in free fall. Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing,” Graham told “Radical Islam is running wild, and somebody needs to stop this.”
He pointed to Iran’s recent test launch of a medium-range ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear bomb as a sign that the Islamic Republic will not comply with the nuclear accord negotiated by the president’s administration.
“Look at what’s happened in the last couple of days. The Iranians are test-firing a missile that could hit Israel, in violation to UN sanctions,” Graham said. “They’re testing the international community; does the international community have the guts to push back against Iran?”
The South Carolina senator stressed that, when it comes to foreign policy, experience is invaluable.
“Experience does matter when it comes to being commander-in-chief,” he said. “I’ve been to Iraq and Afghanistan 35 times. I’ve been in the Air Force 33 years. Our foreign policy is in free fall. So the argument I would make on my behalf is that when it comes to being commander in chief, you need to know what you’re doing.”
Graham said he believes voters will start paying more attention to the backgrounds of each candidate on national security as international crises worsen.