Lindsey Graham on Foreign Policy
Republican Sr Senator; previously Representative (SC-3)
GRAHAM: I believe the United States and the world needs to go on offense and stop the reason people have to leave Syria. The good people are leaving because they're being raped and murdered and some terrorists are trying to get in their ranks. The best thing the world could do for Syrian people is to create a safe haven within Syria, a no-fly zone. The best thing the United States could do to protect the homeland is go on offense, to form a regional army with the French and go on the ground to destroy their caliphate.
A: If the Iranians walk away from the table, and tried to break out and get a nuclear weapon, if we can't end their program peacefully, I would stop them. If they get a nuclear weapon, the Sunni Arabs will want a nuclear weapon of their own, and we're on the road to a nuclear arms race in the Mideast. I think a good outcome is to basically leave the interim deal in place and give the next president a chance to conclude a final agreement with the Iranians.
Known as a strong proponent of the use of American military force, Graham proposes sending 10,000 U.S. troops to fight Islamic State. He believes the U.S. ultimately will have no choice but to send more combat troops to the region. He has long advocated the use of airstrikes, applauding the White House for attacks it approved in September. Graham said in 2014 that the U.S. should work with Iran to coordinate the fight against Islamic State and to keep Iraq stable.
A: Don't think there's a snowball chance in hell that a Congress is going to approve this framework the way it's set up. The ayatollah saying he gets immediate sanction relief with no intrusive inspections.
Q: So what's your plan for a nuclear deal with Iran?
A: I will release today nine core principles of what I think a good deal will look like. Any time, anywhere inspections of military/nonmilitary facilities will be a bipartisan must. So, this idea that we can't go where we need to go is going to fail. The Chinese are talking about building five reactors for the Iranians. Any nuclear enrichment program must be limited to one reactor. At the end of the day, you can't lift sanctions until the behavior of Iran changes. They can longer be a state sponsor of terrorism before you lift sanctions down the road.
GRAHAM: Well, North Korea would be great place to sell products. They don't have anything. When America engages a country, we do so with our moral voice, just not cigars & rum. So, for the last 50 years, Cuba's gone from being an interventionist communist power in Angola to Grenada, to a backwater, poor dictatorship. And without any reason, we have changed our policy. Look in your vault of CBS News stories in 2013 and 2014 and show me one where Cuba is becoming more democratic. The Congress is not going to reinforce this policy. There will be no confirmation of an ambassador to Cuba because the Castro brothers are terrible dictators who deserve no new engagement. They deserve to be condemned and isolated.
GRAHAM: When it comes to funding any proposed embassy in Cuba, I'm in charge of all foreign aid; will do everything I can to limit to size and scope of this embassy, because you are rewarding people who kidnap Americans and who really are still communists in every way.
Q: Do you think that Cuba at this point in time represents a security threat to America?
GRAHAM: Last year, the Cubans were shipping arms to North Korea in violation of the embargo. Yes. Cuba to me represents everything that threatens us. Are we safe when somebody right off our shores practices totalitarian communism in our backyard? They were actively trying to send weapons to North Korea a year ago. Should we be worried about North Korea? Yes. Should we be worried about Cuba? Yes. And Iran is watching. I can only imagine what the ayatollahs in Iran must be saying when our president reaches out to a communist dictatorship that has done nothing to change.
GRAHAM: Make it so hard on the North Koreans, they don't want to do this in the future. Reimpose sanctions lifted by President Bush. Put them back on the state sponsor of terrorism list. Put [them] on notice that it's just not a movie [referring to "The Interview", an anti-North Korea film]. It's our way of life. They attacked who we are. And when the president calls this [North Korean cyberattack on the movie's producer Sony] an act of vandalism , that just really bothers me greatly. It is an act of terrorism. And I hope he will respond forcefully.
Q: You're not talking about taking military action against North Korea, are you?
GRAHAM: I'm talking about putting them in a spot in the world where they are diminished beyond where they are today. I'm talking about consulting with China and holding them accountable. This is the first act of cyber-warfare that's really gotten a lot of attention. How the president handles this is very important.
GRAHAM: What we've learned from these changing times is that without American leadership the world disintegrates pretty rapidly. America is the glue that holds the free world together. When you see us missing or AWOL as President Obama's been, you see fracturing on multiple fronts. Russia is more aggressive, not less. The sanctions clearly are not working. Hamas is demanding open borders. Show me a statement by Hamas leadership that recognizes the right for Israel to resist, then I would consider that request. Passive responses to naked aggression all over the world is our foreign policy. Look what ISIS has been able to do in Syria and Iraq. Without American leadership, the world gets to be a very dangerous place and our allies, like Israel and Ukraine, suffer.
GRAHAM: Well, let's look at it this way. Russia has dismembered the Ukraine, a neighboring nation. It is intimidating its neighbors. Russia has seized territory from the Ukraine. Here's what I fear with this passive response, this lack of decisive action. The Ukraine has asked for weapons to defend itself for months and we're still thinking about it. The Europeans can't lead without America setting the standard. And without American leadership organizing Europe and the world you see people like Putin.
Q: What would you do?
GRAHAM: I would come to Congress and I'd ask for additional sanctions on the entire Russian economy, Putin included. I would come to Congress and ask for money to equip and train the Ukrainian military.
No one knows for sure how much Russian President Vladimir Putin cares about what the US says or does regarding troops in Ukraine, but Putin "does care about missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic," Graham said. Putin "very much cares about democracies on his borders," Graham said, and the US should increase that concern by helping Poland and the Czech Republic, and support Georgia's bid to become a member of NATO. I would like to create a democratic noose around Putin's Russia," said Graham.
GRAHAM: Putin very much cares about democracy on his borders. I would like to create a democratic noose around Putin's Russia. Let's accelerate Georgia's admission into NATO. Moldavia is under siege by Russia. Let's help Moldavia, Poland and the Czech Republic. We abandoned our missile defense agreements with them to protect Europe from a rogue missile attack coming out of the Mideast. Russia backed Obama down. If I were President Obama, I would reengage Poland and the Czech Republic regarding missile defense. I would admit Georgia to NATO. I would have a larger military presence in the Balkans to NATO members who are threatened by Russia. I would fly the NATO flag as strongly as I could around Putin. I would suspend his membership in the G-8, be the G-7. And every day he stays in the Ukraine, I would add to it.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. HOWARD BERMAN (D, CA-28): Integrating India into a global nonproliferation regime is a positive step. Before anyone gets too sanctimonious about India's nuclear weapons program, we should acknowledge that the five recognized nuclear weapons states have not done nearly enough to fulfill their commitments under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, including making serious reductions in their own arsenals, nor in the case of the US in ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. BARBARA LEE (D, CA-9): In withholding my approval, I seek not to penalize the people of India but, rather, to affirm the principle of nuclear nonproliferation. Jettisoning adherence to the international nuclear nonproliferation framework that has served the world so well for more than 30 years, as approval of the agreement before us would do, is just simply unwise. It is also reckless.
Approval of this agreement undermines our efforts to dissuade countries like Iran and North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. By approving this agreement, all we are doing is creating incentives for other countries to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
The Arab American Institute has compiled a Scorecard to catalogue the voting record of the 112th Congress on issues of importance to the Arab American community. Though not comprehensive, we have attempted to provide a snapshot of legislation concerning many of the primary issues concerning Arab Americans. For the Senate, we have included 10 items: two bills on the Arab Spring, three on Palestine, one on Lebanon, one regarding civil liberties, and two for immigration reform.
RESOLUTION expressing vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare, security, and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders:
Congressional Summary: A resolution expressing strong support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to enter into a Membership Action Plan with Georgia and Ukraine:
Legislative Outome: Resolution agreed to in Senate without amendment and with a preamble by Unanimous Consent.
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