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Bridget Johnson

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July 7, 2014 - 8:37 am

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who just returned from Afghanistan with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), says the intelligence community is unified in its assessment that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS or ISIL) is a direct threat to the United States.

“According to director of national intelligence, the FBI director and most of our intelligence community, ISIS presents a direct threat to the homeland in Syria, now Iraq,” Graham told CBS on Sunday. “Americans and Western Europeans are going to help their cause. And they can flow back here. So, yes, they are a direct threat to the homeland and they’re getting much stronger as we speak.”

“I think it’s important to recognize that we did have this situation stabilized, thanks to the surge, that we could have left a residual force behind which would have stabilized the situation,” McCain said.

“This is not like a hurricane or an earthquake. This didn’t have to happen. This is a failure of United States policy. And, by the way, there still is none that I can discern, either a policy or a strategy, to handle this situation.”

McCain called the new caliphate, which encompasses an area stretching across Syria and Iraq that eclipses the size of Jordan, “the largest and richest enclave of radical terrorism in history.”

“And one of the things that we need to do, of course we want Maliki to be replaced, but we got to stop ISIS first. And that means that we’re going to have to do airstrikes. And we need to step up our support for the Free Syrian Army that is really right now getting very badly beaten,” McCain said.

“…You’re going to see the same result in Afghanistan. We just came back from there. They feel abandoned.”

“I think the big fear I have about what we’re doing in Afghanistan is that we have great capability now. We can watch a part of the world that is a safe haven for terrorists. Thirteen years after 9/11, there are more safe havens. There are more terrorist groups with more weapons and more capabilities than before 9/11, and we’re having less capability, less presence,” Graham said.

“If we get down to 1,000 troops by 2017, and dismantle our eyes and ears in Afghanistan and Pakistan, it will haunt us far worse than Iraq. The counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan is a front-line defense against — for the homeland and it is being destroyed by this idea of leaving completely in 2017,” he continued.

“Mr. President, reverse your course. Keep our counterterrorism capabilities in effect to protect us here at home.”

McCain stressed that they’re not advocating combat troops.

“We’re advocating leaving sustaining capability to give them the capabilities that they don’t have right now,” he said.

Related: 

DHS Secretary: ‘Obviously We’re Concerned Any Time a Terrorist Organization Acquires Territory’

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
All Comments   (14)
All Comments   (14)
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The ISIL's most intimidating weapon is a heavy machine gun or light missile mounted on a pick-up truck. Iran and its IRGC will soon have nuclear warhead tipped long range missiles with which to dominate and control the Persian Gulf and Iraqi oil fields and to serve as an umbrella for global terrorism The government of Iran is by far the most dangerous terrorist organization.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's not a Terrorist Organization , it's a Religious Organization. Islam is on the march again.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't ISIS have a pick of themselves posing with Juan McCain in Syira? You know the "these are not radicals the are opposing Assad". We need to foment the rift between sunni/shia and let them work it out aka kill each other.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, it's a threat, but our politicians are too stupid to shut off immigration that has created a culture for these morons to walk around in inside America untouched. Instead it's better to constantly invade countries which creates even more terrorists which we then import directly here cuz we wouldn't want to seem racist or suffer the extreme lack of diversity from the middle east without which we might go back to being great and safe.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ahh yes.. this M E instability has taken place even sooner than most had imagined.

And to think Teleprompter Jesus™ was taking a victory lap mere months ago for his ahem, 'successes' there.

This year no less he was reading a tele prompted gloating (then again is there ANY other conveyed message, even when he's clearly in the wrong?) message about our/ the West leaving the M E and '..situation is getting better there'.

Whereas Graham, McCain are stating the obvious. Well, 'obvious' to those of us whom aren't emotionally led illiberal useful idiots: A Western presence in the M E to minimize ANY sort of large terrorist buildup AND thus protecting our and our allies interests and homelands was/ is ESSENTIAL.

Though illiberal b oobs don't seem to grasp and/ or accept inasmuch. cf. Operation Desert Shield and Vietnam cut n' run..

Illiberals, read Einstein's definition of insanity & PLEASE let it sink in..

The dozens upon dozens of terrorist organizations of Communist/ Socialist, Marxist-Leninist and violent Islamic groups throughout Central-South America, Western Europe and much of Africa is concerning. Many of these have resulted in coming to fruition and flourishing because of cut n' run policy..

Meanwhile Taliban, Pakistani Taliban, Haqqani Network are STILL not deemed a terrorist organization per the State Department's FTO..

Though ISIS is a designated FTO. Then again a 3rd grader could've & would've designated ISIS inasmuch.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
In the not too distant future Kuwait will fall to ISIS.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Next thing, you're gonna tell us they have WMD, right? Oh, wait....
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah youd've thought then-Feinstein, Rockefeller, Durbin, Baye, Mikulski or other illiberal pols on the Intel Committee would've said otherwise.

Ah well...!

Troll on my friend.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
When are you going to move on You 3.0. The Bush/WMD thing is getting tiresome.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
" This is a failure of United States policy."

But it is a success of Dear Liar's policy.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
"“Americans and Western Europeans are going to help their cause. And they can flow back here."

Why can't we identify these traitors, strip them of citizenship, and not allow them back into the country?
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
For some of these ahem, 'people' are other than Anglo & it'd be 'racist' (wink wink nudge nudge) to say/ do otherwise..!
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
What I find frightening is that some of them ARE Anglo. They weren't even born Muslim or raised by Muslims and somehow decided that they wanted to be Muslims anyway. They converted to Islam, made their way to the Middle East and are fighting for Islam now. There are even women who have converted to Islam and gone over to the middle east to marry jihadis and help create and raise a new crop of terrorists. Doug Jones becomes Achmed Ibrahim and takes up arms against his country of birth and its allies. Debbie Smith becomes Fahmi El Agwar and starts having little Muslim babies with a jihadi so that a new generation of jihadis can get started. What makes someone do that ESPECIALLY women, who have to know that they will be treated very VERY badly by Muslims?
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
They're called people with mental health issues. Have you ever seen even one that wasn't true of?
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
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