Graham likened the threat posed by a Taliban-led Afghan government to conflicts in other Middle Eastern nations, saying the U.S. will be forced to intervene after the Taliban, who have "a view of the world out of sync with modern times," impose "a lifestyle on the Afghan people that I think is going to make us all sick to our stomach."
“We will be going back into Afghanistan,” Graham told the BBC. “We’ll have to because the threat will be so large." He likened the hypothetical return to prior U.S. engagements, adding, “We will be going back into Afghanistan as we went back into Iraq and Syria."
Graham, a leading voice within the GOP on foreign policy matters, made his remarks before the Taliban announced appointments to their caretaker government on Tuesday, including acting interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is wanted by the FBI on terrorism charges. The Taliban appointed no women or non-Taliban figures to governmental positions despite last month's claim they were encouraging the "presence of women in different [government] structures according to Islamic law."
President Joe Biden has argued the U.S. has conducted effective counterterrorism operations against terrorist groups in other countries without the need for a permanent military presence.
“If necessary, we will do the same in Afghanistan," Biden said on Aug. 16. "We’ve developed counterterrorism over-the-horizon capability that will allow us to keep our eyes firmly fixed on any direct threats to the United States in the region and to act quickly and decisively if needed.”
Biden has been roundly criticized for sticking to his Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline for all U.S. forces, even as the Taliban made large gains in the region. Following a suicide bombing near the Kabul airport that claimed the lives of 13 U.S. service members and more than 170 Afghan civilians, several lawmakers, including Graham, called for Biden's ouster via impeachment, resignation, or invocation of the 25th Amendment.
Since July, the U.S. has airlifted more than 120,000 people from Afghanistan, including roughly 5,500 Americans. Biden said that about 100 to 200 U.S. citizens who have "some intention to leave," many of whom are dual citizens, remain in Afghanistan.
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Original Author: Kaelan Deese
Original Location: Lindsey Graham predicts US will 'have to' reenter Afghanistan