On Sunday's "Beat the Press," David Gregory asked Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) what he thought about the future of US forces in Afghanistan. Graham doesn't see an end to US forces' occupation of that country, rather he calls for an "enduring relationship... in perpetuity."
I think [a permanent US military presence] would be enormously beneficial to the region, as well as Afghanistan. We've had air bases all over the world. A couple of air bases in Afghanistan would allow the Afghan security forces an edge against the Taliban in perpetuity. It would be a signal to Pakistan that the Taliban are never going to come back in Afghanistan. They could change their behavior. It would be a signal to the whole region that Afghanistan is going to be a new and different place. And if the Afghan people want this relationship, they're going to have to earn it. But I hope they will seek a relationship with the United States of where we can have an enduring relationship, economic and militarily and politically. And a couple of air bases in Afghanistan will give us an edge militarily, give the Afghan security forces an edge militarily, to ensure that country never goes back into the hands of the Taliban, which would be a stabilizing event throughout the whole region. That has to be earned by the Afghan people, and it has to be requested by them.
The mind reels. I thought the Bobblehead Translations was exaggerating, but there it is. I know some will point to Germany, South Korea, and Japan as examples where we have "enduring relationships" in the form of military bases, but those bases aren't used to prop up corrupt governments and to fight internal conflicts. Rather, the point of US bases in Germany, South Korea, and Japan are to act as staging bases for actions against the former Soviet Union and China, the dirty commies of the twen-cen period.
The other argument is based on the classic domino theory, in that if the Taliban take over Afghanistan, al Qaeda will start up training camps in that country. Then the Taliban will raid Pakistani army depots for nuclear weapons and give them to AQ, who will in turn bring them into the United States and nuke New York City, despite the multiple, layered defenses and full might of the US intelligence, law enforcement, and military community that is aimed at such terrorist activity.
Lindsey Graham and John McCain are clear evidence of the mind-numbing, corrosive effect of the Tea Party crowd and the Repubs' willing decision to allow morals and good judgment to disappear in relation to the chance to bloviate on national television about their extremist politics. Shameful.