Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper had a tense moment during the Munich Security Conference over the weekend when Graham threatened to make his life “hell” if he dared to withdraw American troops from Africa.
U.S. forces are currently in Africa to help African troops in multiple countries located in the Sahel region fight against extremists.
But that role has been slowly diminishing as African troops become more capable of dealing with the threats themselves.
Of course, a possible withdrawal isn’t sitting well with Graham, who apparently believes the American military should be present just about everywhere on Earth and should engage in never-ending wars.
And so, during the conference—which featured silence instead of applause for the American delegation— Graham approached Esper with a bipartisan group of lawmakers and directly threatened him.
According to NBC News:
Sen. Lindsey Graham and a bipartisan group of lawmakers, uniting against a Trump administration idea to withdraw U.S. troops from part of Africa, pushed back during a fiery exchange with Defense Secretary Mark Esper here over the weekend, according to four people present at or familiar with the meeting.
At one point, Graham warned Esper that there would be consequences if the Pentagon withdrew all troops from the region. Graham told Esper that he could “make your life hell,” according to the four people. One member present said Graham, [Democratic Sen. Chris] Coons and several other lawmakers laid out their case ‘forcefully.’
It should be pointed out, however, that Graham’s threats have meant nothing, especially when he aims them at members of the Trump administration.
As NBC noted, Graham also threatened former Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan for supporting Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria.
Last year, NBC News reported that during a meeting on the sidelines of the 2019 Munich Security Conference, Graham had a ‘tense’ and ‘heated’ exchange with Esper’s predecessor, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, over Trump’s decision to pull troops from Syria. Officials said that at the 2019 meeting, Graham unleashed expletives at Shanahan and told Shanahan that he should consider him ‘an adversary.’
Despite the threat, Trump withdrew troops from Syria, abandoned our Kurdish allies, allowed Russia to take over our military base there and allowed ISIS to rise again. Yet, Graham proved to be all talk as he tucked his tail between his legs and failed to follow through on his threat.
And that’s exactly what he will do this time because it seems he is too cowardly to actually stand up to Trump.
Featured Image: Wikimedia