No US boots in Syria is a 'fantasy,' Graham says

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSeveral GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Graham says he appreciates Trump orders, but 'would much prefer a congressional agreement' Sunday shows preview: White House, congressional Democrats unable to breach stalemate over coronavirus relief MORE (R-S.C.) on Sunday said there must be a substantial U.S. component on the ground in Syria in order to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). 

“This idea that we’re never going to have boots on the ground in Syria is fantasy. All this has come home to roost after the last three years of incompetent decisions,” Graham said on “Fox News Sunday.” “It’s delusional in the way they approach this.” 

Graham said the U.S. is fighting a war now, and not just a counterterrorism operation.

“I will not let this president suggest to the American people we can outsource our security and this is not about our safety,” he said, referring to the Obama administration’s push to empower local players already on the ground in Iraq and Syria. 

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White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonoughDenis Richard McDonoughSusan Rice calls for Flynn-Kislyak transcripts to be released GOP seeks to go on offense using Flynn against Biden Tucker Carlson: Flynn case was domestic spying operation 'hidden under the pretext of national security' MORE said earlier in the program that Congress should provide authorization to expand a program to train and equip vetted moderate rebels in Syria who can fight the battle instead of U.S. troops.

“There is no way in hell you can form an army on the ground to go into Syria to destroy [ISIS] without a substantial American component,” Graham said.

Sen. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Overnight Defense: Embattled Pentagon policy nominee withdraws, gets appointment to deputy policy job | Marines, sailor killed in California training accident identified | Governors call for extension of funding for Guard's coronavirus response Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled MORE (R-R.I.), a member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, however, said indigenous troops are “the most effective forces.” 

Putting U.S. combat troops on the ground is “not the right approach,” Reed added, because then the Iraqis and Saudis would step back from the fight. 

Graham said he’s tired of hearing from the administration, from Democrats and even from Republicans that this war will be easy and not a U.S. fight.

“This president needs to rise to the occasion before we all get killed back here at home,” he said. “This is not a Sunni vs. Sunni problem this is [ISIS] vs. mankind.”

Reed added there are thousands of lone wolves that could attack the U.S., however, and said it’s “not accurate” to only be concerned about ISIS.