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Press Release - Senators Graham and McCain Join CBS' Face The Nation From Iraq To Discuss The Fight Against Radical Islam

November 29, 2015

Graham: "I Cannot Stress To You How Urgent It Is That We Destroy ISIL."

This morning, Senator Lindsey Graham appeared in a joint-interview with Senator John McCain from Baghdad, Iraq to discuss the importance of destroying ISIL and our nation's security. In case you missed it, watch part of their interview with John Dickerson here.

Graham: "If We Don't Destroy ISIL In Syria, Which Is Their Headquarters, We're Going To Get Attacked At Home."

(Face The Nation, "Sen. Graham: U.S. must commit to ground forces," CBS, 11/29/15)


Graham: "If You Don't Look At Iraq And Syria As One Battle Space You're Making A Huge Mistake."


Graham: "There's An Opportunity, With Some American Leadership, To Do Two Things, Which Is To Destroy ISIL Before We Get Hit At Home And Also To Push Assad Out"

"The region is ready to fight. The region hates ISIL. They're coming after the Sunni-Arab nations, and Turkey hates ISIL. The entire region wants Assad gone so there's an opportunity with some American leadership to do two things, which is to destroy ISIL before we get hit at home and also to push Assad out and not give yet another Arab capital to Damascus."

Graham: "Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, They Have Regional Armies. They Would Go Into The Fight, If You Put Assad On The Table."

"The kind of force that John and I are talking about is 10% of the force will come from western powers. The force that we're talking about will come from regional armies... Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, they have regional armies. They would go into the fight, if you put Assad on the table. So, most of the fighting will be done by the region. They will pay for this war, but the one thing I can tell you about Iraq: the next President of the United States is going to be dealing with ISIL in Iraq, because what we have in place here is small, it's limited in focus and will get limited results. General MacFarland is doing a very good job with limited capability. We don't have enough American troops inside of Iraq to destroy ISIL any time soon."


McCain: "If You Had The Right President And The Right Leadership, They Would Collapse." "Assad has to be part of the equation. He cannot stay in power for one day longer than necessary. And if you had the right president and the right leadership, they would collapse. But there is no confidence in the Arab world today in the United States of America. That has to be restored if we want to put together a regional force, which has to have American participation."

Graham: "I Can't Over Emphasize Enough The Influence Of Iran. We've Been Here For A Day And A Half. Iran Is All Over Iraq. They Filled In The Vacuum That Was Created When We Left, And The Region Is Worried About Iranian Dominance As Much As ISIL."


McCain: "The Biggest Mistake We Could Make Is Some Kind Of Reliance With Russia. Vladimir Putin's Ambitions Are Different From Ours." "First you have to obviously take out ISIS, but at the same time you have to establish a no fly zone which sends the message to Russia and Assad: stop bombing people and slaughtering his innocent men, women and children and driving millions to refugee status, which we are trying to cope with now."

Graham: "I Cannot Stress To You How Urgent It Is That We Destroy ISIL. Every Day That Goes By That They Hold Millions Of People Under Their Sway Is A Bad Day For Us, Because They're Going To Hit Us At Home If We Don't Put Them On The Run."

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Lindsey Graham, Press Release - Senators Graham and McCain Join CBS' Face The Nation From Iraq To Discuss The Fight Against Radical Islam Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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