Graham: Without victory in Libya, NATO's finished

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Thursday the survival of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime could spell the end of NATO.

“Logically you can exact that if he [Gadhafi] outlasts NATO, the Arab spring is over,” said Graham. "…He will take it out on his people, I think it will affect the price of oil and would be the end of NATO because NATO taking on Gadhafi and losing -- its going to be very hard for that organization to go off to another war and be taken seriously.”

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Speaking on the Senate floor, Graham and McCain bemoaned President Obama’s plan, announced on Wednesday, to begin a withdrawal of surge forces from Afghanistan, and urged their colleagues in the House to vote down legislation proposed by Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) that would prohibit the use of any Department of Defense funds from being used to fund military operations in Libya.

Sen. McCain urged his House colleagues to consider the cost to NATO of the U.S. stepping out of the conflict. 

“This could mean the end of NATO—if NATO cannot defeat a third-rate military power, then NATO is probably going to go out of business,” said McCain said.

Graham said NATO is on the verge of victory and Congress should not offer Gadhafi a specter of hope by suggesting that the U.S. is not fully in the fight. 

“Gadhafi is on the ropes, NATO has limited capacity, but if the American Congress tells Gadhafi ‘we are out of the fight’ I am afraid that is going to give him a sense of hope he does not have today,” Graham said.