One influential Republican senator has changed his mind on President Barack Obama's plan begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in the summer of 2011.
After a recent trip to the region, Sen. Lindsey Graham returned to say that he believes some troops could be removed in July 2011.
"After this trip, I think we can transition next summer some areas of Afghanistan to Afghan control," Graham told CBS' Bob Schieffer Sunday.
"I see progress I had not seen before. I see a scenario if things continue to develop the way they are that certain areas of Afghanistan can be transitioned to Afghan control and we could remove some troops safely without undermining the overall war mission," he said.
"But at the end of the day the president has to let the Afghan people, the regional players know, the American people know that we're not going to leave until we're successful. But I do see a path forward next summer to transition in certain areas of Afghanistan but we will need substantial troops well past July of 2011 to get this right," continued Graham.
Only three weeks ago, Graham told CNN that he didn't think it would be possible to begin transitioning troops out of Afghanistan that soon.
On the same program, however, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina worried that the Afghan forces and central government may not be ready to assume the necessary responsibilities within a year.
"[G]enerally speaking, this time next summer, we're still going to be engaged in one hell of a fight," Graham told CNN. "We're going to need every troop we have today, I think, still in Afghanistan next year."
According to Graham, it will be clear by the end of this year where things stand in Afghanistan.
"If, by December, we're not showing some progress, we're in trouble," he said. "And the question is: what is progress? Without some benchmarks and measurements, it's going to be hard to sell to the American people a continued involvement in Afghanistan."
Graham's change in attitude comes only days after a new poll shows that nearly 6 in 10 Americans oppose the war in Afghanistan.
Despite the fact as was noted yesterday on Chris Hayes' Saturday show on MSNBC, that Newt Gingrich's national favorability ratings nationwide are absolutely terrible, that didn't stop Sen. Lindsey Graham and former Gov. Haley Barbour from trying to Read more...
CBS, Face the Nation, July 6, 2014. Host Bob Schieffer asks senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain about being part of the do-nothing Congress. Read more here...http://crooksandliars.com/2014/07/senators-mccain-graham-blame-obama
Sen. Lindsey Graham continues beating the war drums to intervene in Syria's civil war on this Sunday's Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer. Sadly Graham doesn't seem to realize that it's a little late to worry about "all hell breaking loose" in the Middle East. Read more...
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) thinks it's time to take the fight in Libya to the next level.
The senior senator from South Carolina said Sunday that the U.S. should directly target embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi with airstrikes. He also Read more...