Lindsey Graham, three-term US Senator and staunch advocate for the so-called ‘War on Terror’ (as well as just about every other US military incursion around the world) has indicated he will run for the Republican nomination for president in 2016.
RT reports: Graham said Monday he would announce his official decision on June 1 in his hometown of Central, South Carolina. But for now, it appears he will challenge the likes of fellow Senator Ted Cruz for support among the hawkish right wing of the Republican Party.
“I’m running because of what you see on television; I’m running because I think the world is falling apart; I’ve been more right than wrong on foreign policy,” he said on “CBS This Morning,” when asked if his decision was based on fellow Republicans who have already joined the 2016 race.
“It’s not the fault of others, or their lack of this or that that makes me want to run; it’s my ability in my own mind to be a good commander in chief and to make Washington work.”
A diligent hawk who supports bloated Pentagon budgets, The neo-conservative senator known for his bellicose views on foreign policy — and the US military’s place in that policy — is a former US Air Force Judge Advocate.
While he may have aimed for tough-guy bombast during a March visit to the early presidential primary state of New Hampshire, Graham indicated at the event that his first act as president would be to use military force to demand Congress restore the moderate funding cuts to Pentagon and intelligence budgets that were approved by legislators in 2011 to address federal deficits.
“And here’s the first thing I would do if I were president of the United States. I wouldn’t let Congress leave town until we fix this. I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to. We’re not leaving town until we restore these defense cuts. We are not leaving town until we restore the intel cuts.”
Graham suggested Monday that the 2003 US military invasion of Iraq — which had his vociferous support at the time and for years after — was not based on sound intelligence.
“Going into Iraq, if I’d known … then what I know now, would I have launched a ground invasion? Probably not,” he said. He added that if head known the “intelligence was faulty,” he would have “reconfigured” his strategy for confronting Saddam Hussein, who “needed to go.”
“But at the end of the day, he is gone,” Graham said. “And I’m worried about an attack on our homeland.”
Graham was one of the biggest advocates for military intervention in Syria in 2013.
“I don’t care what it takes,” Graham told Foreign Policy magazine. “If the choice is to send in troops to secure the weapons sites versus allowing chemical weapons to get in the hands of some of the most violent people in the world, I vote to cut this off before it becomes a problem.”
In 2010, he called for a pre-emptive US military attack to “neuter” Iran.