Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) predicted on Monday that the United States will return to Afghanistan to combat a resurgence in terror groups and attacks.
Graham made the prediction in an interview with the BBC, claiming that the situation in Afghanistan would mirror the outcomes in Iraq and Syria after the U.S. pulled back its involvement. The GOP senator said that President Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan will empower terror groups in the region, and the only way to handle growing terror threats will be to get reengaged.
“Whether you like Trump or not, whether you believe it’s Trump’s fault or Biden’s fault, here’s where we are at as a world: the Taliban are not reformed, they’re not new. They have a view of the world out of sync with modern times,” Graham said. “They are going to impose a lifestyle on the Afghan people that I think is going to make all of us sick to our stomach.”
“But most importantly, they are going to give safe haven to al Qaeda, who has ambitions to drive us out of the Middle East writ large and attack us because of our way of life. We will be going back into Afghanistan as we went back into Iraq and Syria,” he added.
At this point, the host pressed Graham on the possibility of the United States getting back involved in Afghanistan.
“We’ll have to. We’ll have to because the threat will be so large. Why did we go back to Syria and Iraq? Why do we have 5,000 troops in Iraq today? Because of the caliphate rising, projecting force outside of Iraq, killing Americans, killing the French, attacking the British,” Graham said. “So, yes, it will be a caldron for radical Islamic behavior. You cannot deal with this over the horizon.”
“Here’s my solution: help the resistance in the Panjshir Valley. The Taliban will not be able to govern Afghanistan, they’re hated by the Afghan people,” Graham said. “What’s going to happen over time is you’re going to see the resistance rise, ISIS will come after the Taliban large, and the entire country is going to fracture in the next year creating a perfect storm for Western interests to be attacked. You can do one of two things. You can say that’s no longer my problem and let it build and get hit, or hit them before they hit you.”
The Taliban claimed on Monday to have squashed the resistance in the Panjshir Valley, the final region in Afghanistan that the Taliban had yet to control. The terror group on Tuesday named a new government in Afghanistan, installing men with terrorist ties to top posts. Afghanistan’s new interior minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is on the U.S. terror watch list.
The guerrilla forces in the Panjshir Valley claimed that the fighting was ongoing and that Taliban claims of victory are false. As the BBC reported:
Resistance fighters however said they were still present in “all strategic positions” and “continue to fight”.
Their leader has called for a “national uprising” against the Taliban.
In an audio recording posted on social media Ahmad Massoud, leader of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF), blamed the international community for legitimising the Taliban and giving them military and political confidence.
“Wherever you are, inside or outside, I call on you to begin a national uprising for the dignity, freedom and prosperity of our country,” he said.
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