Besty Woodruff reports:
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of the chamber’s most hawkish members, told host Chuck Todd on Meet the Press that he didn’t know until recently that a thousand U.S. troops are stationed in Niger.The military is out of control and Trump is surrounded by generals.
Graham is on the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, tasked with overseeing the Pentagon. And he made the admission when
Todd pressed him on whether Congress needs to vote on an Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUMF) for that mission.“The military determines who the threats are, they come up with the engagement policy and if we don’t like what the military does, we can defund the operation,” Graham said. “But I didn’t know there was a thousand troops in Niger.”
Graham added that as long as American military activity involves countering “radical Islamist fundamentalism and the spread of it,” Congress doesn’t need to give the Pentagon any special permission since, in his view, the AUMFs that passed in 2001 was sufficient....Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the chamber’s most powerful Democrat, admitted later on the same show that he was just as ignorant as Graham about the number of U.S. troops in Niger. When Todd asked him if he knew previously about the thousand troops there, he said he didn’t.“And what it means, Chuck [Todd], for the war authorization, is I agree with Senator [Rand] Paul (R-KY) that we ought to look at this carefully,” Schumer continued. “We are in a brave new world, you know, there are no set battle plans.”Paul, who occupies the other end of the foreign policy spectrum from Graham, has long argued that Congress needs to have a vote on whether or not to reauthorize American military involvement around the globe related to the War on Terror.