Graham made the prediction during a Monday interview with the BBC while comparing the situation to former President Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq and the resulting rise of the terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The Republican senator spoke on how former President Trump destroyed the ISIS caliphate in Iraq and Syria after its rise under Obama and then-Vice President Biden.
The senator said the Taliban “are not reformed” nor are they “new,” and their takeover of Afghanistan would result in a “lifestyle” imposed on the Afghan people that would make everyone’s stomach turn.
Graham then warned that the U.S. will be heading back to Afghanistan, as it returned to Iraq, due to the high and still rising terror threat in the region following President Biden’s disastrous and deadly withdrawal.
“But most importantly, they’re gonna give safe haven to al Qaeda, who has ambitions to drive us out of the Middle East writ-large and attack us because of our way of life,” Graham said. “We will be going back into Afghanistan as we went back into Iraq and Syria.”
BBC’s Stephen Sackur asked Graham if he was serious about his prediction, and the senator responded that the U.S. will “have to, because the threat will be so large.”
“Why did we go back to Syria and Iraq? Why do we have 5,000 troops in Iraq today? Because of the caliphate rising, projecting force outside of Iraq. Killing Americans, killing the French, attacking the British,” Graham elaborated.
Graham is warning that the U.S. will be heading back to Afghanistan, similarly as it did in Iraq, due to the high and still rising terror threat in the region following President Biden’s disastrous and deadly withdrawal.
“So, yes, it will be a cauldron for radical Islamic behavior,” he continued. “You cannot deal with this over the horizon.”
Graham also said his solution to the issue would be to support the resistance in the Panjshir Valley, noting that the Taliban “will not be able to govern Afghanistan” because everyone in the country hates them.
“What’s going to happen over time is, you’re going to see the resistance rise, ISIS will come after the Taliban large, and the entire country is going to fracture in the next year creating a perfect storm for Western interests to be attacked,” Graham said.
“You can do one of two things: you can say ‘that’s no longer my problem’ and let it build and get hit, or hit them before they hit you,” he added.
Graham had warned Obama against the Iraq withdrawal in 2011, writing in a press release that year that he hoped he was wrong on his Iraq pullout prediction but feared “this decision has set in motion events that will come back to haunt our country.”
The senator also blasted the assertation in 2018 that the Iraq troop withdrawal was due to an agreement struck by former President George W. Bush with Iraqi leaders and not due to Obama’s decision to withdraw.
“That’s a bunch of bulls—, pardon my French. That’s a complete lie,” Graham said in a television interview that year. “Obama wanted to get to zero [service members]. He got to zero.”
Houston Keene is a reporter for Fox News Digital. You can find him on Twitter at @HoustonKeene.