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Senator Graham Criticizes Biden’s Response To Middle East Strikes

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) voiced strong criticism of President Joe Biden’s handling of recent drone strikes in the Middle East, questioning the strategy’s effectiveness in deterring Iran and protecting American troops.

Immediate GOP Scrutiny

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Following a deadly drone attack that killed three American soldiers, GOP lawmakers, including Graham, quickly scrutinized the Biden administration for what they perceived as a delayed and ineffective response.

U.S. Military Action

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The U.S. military launched airstrikes targeting Iranian-backed groups in Syria and Iraq as a retaliatory measure, aiming to send a decisive message to Iran and its affiliates about the consequences of attacking American forces.

Timing and Impact

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Graham lamented the timing of the U.S. response, suggesting it allowed potential targets ample warning, ultimately failing to impose significant costs on Iran or its militias.

He told Fox News, “We gave them a weeks notice, so if there’s another round of strikes coming, I hope they really will hurt Iran in their pocketbook or their leadership because if you don’t, nothing changes,” he added.

No Objective Met

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In a scathing rebuke, Sen. Graham told Fox News on Sunday, “If the goal is to deter Iran, you’re failing miserably. If the goal is to protect American troops, you’re not achieving your goal. If you’ve convinced Iran you don’t want a wider war, they believe you. ‘Oh, I don’t want a war with you,’ they got the message…they’re not afraid of us. They were afraid of [former President] Trump.”

White House Defense

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In response to criticism, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan defended the administration’s approach.

He said, “The president made clear before we were attacked at Tower 22 in Jordan, before our brave services members were tragically killed, that if we were attacked, we would respond.”

Time and Place of Choosing

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Sullivan was responding to criticism from House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) “So, Iran and its military groups knew that the United States was going to respond.

We also said we’d do it at a time and place of our choosing. We planned the attack. We executed the attack.”

Pentagon’s Strike Report

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The Pentagon reported hitting over 85 targets in the initial round of airstrikes, targeting the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force and related militia groups, indicating a broad and strategic effort to weaken Iran’s militant proxies.

Graham’s Broader Concerns

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Senator Graham linked the situation in the Middle East to broader national security challenges faced by the U.S., including the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the conflict in Ukraine, and the Israel-H1 war, suggesting a decline in U.S. deterrence globally.

Proposed Strategy Shift

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Arguing for a more impactful approach, Graham suggested targeting Iran’s economic infrastructure, specifically its oil business, as a means to exert pressure on Tehran and curtail its aggressive actions in the region.

Graham’s “Space” Suggestion

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“If we hit their oil business, we don’t need manned aircraft. They’ve got four refineries you can see from space. If you knock one of them out, that would stop this,” Graham said.

Iranian-Backed Aggression

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The backdrop to the U.S. military’s response includes over 160 attacks on U.S. troops by Iranian-backed groups since the onset of the Israel-H1 war, underscoring the persistent threat faced by American forces in the region.

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Malik is a skilled writer with a passion for news and current events. With their keen eye for detail, they provide insightful perspectives on the latest happenings. Stay informed and engaged!