Graham Says More Soldiers to Iraq

Aug 18, 2015

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham at the Iowa State Fair's Des Moines Register soapbox
Credit Rob Dillard, Iowa Public Radio

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham touted his 33-year military career as one reason he should be elected commander-in chief during a stop at the Iowa State Fair Monday.

He told a crowd at the Register’s soapbox American troops were withdrawn from Iraq way too soon.

“Thirty-five-hundred soldiers on the ground is not enough we need about 10,000," he says. "We need a couple of aviation battalions to take the fight to ISIL. We’re going to need embedders and trainers at the battalion level. We’re going to need air controllers to drop bombs on the right people."

He also says he would work with regional powers in the Middle East to mount a charge against terrorist forces.

“As to the terrorists, if I’m president of the United States, we’re going back to Iraq and we’re going to pound these guys into the ground and we’re not going to leave until the jobs done,” he says.

Graham says he has been to Iraq and Afghanistan 35 times, some of it as a reserve in the military. He recently retired after 33 years.