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Graham Campaign Press Release - Destroying ISIL and Stopping the Spread of Radical Islam

November 16, 2015

"I am ready to be Commander in Chief on day one. I have a clear strategy to confront ISIL and Radical Islam, prevent a nuclear Iran, drive Bashar Assad from power, and re-establish stability in the Middle East. I will restore our relationship with the State of Israel. I will engage with our Arab allies to achieve a regional solution. I will reinvigorate NATO and shore up the resolve of our European allies to develop a strategy to take on direct threats to the West. I will make it clear to our friends and our enemies that the U.S. once again has the capability, capacity, and will to be the world's greatest force for security." - Senator Lindsey Graham


Develop Capability, Capacity, And Will

We must demonstrate we have superior capability, overwhelming capacity, and determined will to protect our nation and confront the forces that threaten global stability and security. Friends and foes alike must see we will no longer capitulate to our adversaries, alienate our allies, or abandon those who are confronting the naked aggressions of dictatorial regimes. We will reclaim our leadership role — backed by the necessary resources and resolve — and confront head-on the threats to our security. The plan is very simple: whatever it takes, as long as it takes, until we defeat them.

Present Clear, Comprehensive Strategies For Directly Taking On Threats

From the rise of ISIL and Radical Islam, to Iran's nuclear ambitions and growing regional influence, to Putin's aggressions in Europe and the Middle East, to China's assault on freedom of navigation in the Asia Pacific region, the forces of violence and chaos are going unchecked. We must develop a global strategy for enhancing our security and our leadership role in a dangerous world.

Provide The Necessary Resources To Deploy Both Hard And Soft Power

We cannot secure our nation or reassert American leadership abroad while gutting our military or our ability to engage in development and diplomacy. Sequestration's non-strategic across-the-board cuts have diminished our capabilities while failing to address our national debt, which is itself a long-term threat to our security and prosperity. We must restore support for vital national security programs while addressing the largest source of our current and future debt — entitlement spending — through fundamental reforms that fully fund our security needs, rein in our debt, and put us on a secure and sustainable path.


Iraq, Syria, and The Rise Of ISIL

Send a force of 10,000 troops to Iraq to reestablish stability, take back lost territory, and destroy radical extremist groups like ISIL. A force of this size would allow us to train and advise Iraqi forces at the battalion level, and would be part of a comprehensive strategy that will:

• Arm, train, and equip moderate forces, including the Kurds, who are taking the fight to ISIL and Bashar Assad

• Create safe zones, backed by no-fly zones

• Aggressively apply air power, including attack helicopters

• Expand intelligence operations

• Fully utilize special operations capability to apply constant pressure on ISIL's leadership

Work in concert with our regional allies to develop a regional solution to end the conflict in Syria and stop the spread of radical extremist groups.

Neutralize Russian influence in Syria. Russian forces are in Syria to solidify Putin's position in the region, secure Russia's access to strategically important bases and ports, preserve Assad's power - and by extension, Iran's and Russia's - and drive moderate rebel forces into cooperation with radical groups. Russia's continued presence in Syria will make the current conflict longer and bloodier and radicalize moderate Sunni forces and populations. The United States must reassert its leadership role in the Middle East and refuse to allow Russia's strategic aims supplant ours. If Russia is allowed to have a presence in Syria, it will be determined by the Syrian people not force of arms.

Develop a united, regional force under U.S. leadership. Our key partners - including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, and Egypt - must be actively engaged and provide the bulk of the resources for this fight. The United States must provide the leadership and added capabilities that only the U.S. military can provide. This kind of cooperative effort is the only way to ensure our success while limiting the burden on American troops and taxpayers. The region will pay for this war. We paid for the last two.

Make military decisions based on military conditions. The execution of a regional effort - including the timing of the withdrawal of U.S. troops - must be never be based on politics, but rather on a coherent strategy and circumstances on the ground, so that our gains are not reversed and our sacrifices squandered.

Provide necessary humanitarian assistance, particularly in Syria, to combat the conditions of a failing state, which breed violence and can lead to the creation of terrorist safe havens.

• Syria is the source of the world's most acute refugee and IDP crisis, in the midst of a conflict that has already resulted in over 200,000 dead, half of which are civilians. The human costs are incalculable, while the devastation and chaos create a vacuum filled by ISIL, Al-Qaeda, and Iran.

• The destabilizing impact of this crisis is not only felt in Syria, but also in partner nations like Jordan, posing further threats to our security. Our humanitarian support is an essential stabilizing force.

• Establish a no-fly zone so Syrians do not have to flee their country. No refugees will be allowed in the United States without thorough vetting.

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Lindsey Graham, Graham Campaign Press Release - Destroying ISIL and Stopping the Spread of Radical Islam Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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