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Keith Preston: McCain, Graham represent most hawkish wing in US

Press TV. Listen here: http://presstv.com/Detail/2015/11/30/439755/Graham-McCain-most-hawkish-wing

US Senators “Graham and McCain represent the most hawkish wing or the most extremist wing of the American foreign policy establishment,” Keith Preston told Press TV on Monday.

The recent call by US Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham to send 20,000 American troops to Iraq and Syria underscores that they represent the most extreme political class in Washington, a political analyst in Virginia says.

“Those two individuals are very adamant about persistently engaging in military intervention and bombing activity in the Middle East,” said Keith Preston, the chief editor and director of AttacktheSystem.com.

“Graham and McCain represent the most hawkish wing or the most extremist wing of the American foreign policy establishment,” Preston told Press TV on Monday.

The two senior Republican senators called on Sunday for Washington to deploy 20,000 US troops to Iraq and Syria as part of a multinational ground force to counter the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group.

McCain and Graham told reporters during a visit to Baghdad on Sunday that US personnel could provide “logistical and intelligence support” to a proposed 100,000-member military force from regional countries like Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

The two lawmakers also criticized President Barack Obama’s Daesh strategy, which relies on airstrikes and support for so-called moderate militants in Syria, stressing the need for greater US involvement in the Middle East conflicts.

“The only way you can destroy the caliphate (Daesh) is with a ground component,” said Graham who is seeking his party’s presidential nomination. “The aerial campaign is not turning the tide of battle.”

The claims by McCain and Graham that the Obama administration is not making a serious effort to defeat Daesh are “partially true,” Preston said.

“What the United States wants to do, as I said before, is to use ISIL as a means for toppling the regime of President Assad,” he added. “That’s the first goal that the United States has.”

“Also, the United States, in a wider geopolitical sense, wants to keep Russian influence out of the region as well,” he noted.

About 3,500 US troops are currently “advising and assisting” Iraqi forces in the fight against ISIL terrorists.

Senators McCain and Graham met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi who they said had welcomed the idea of more US troops.

However, Iraqi government spokesman Saad Hadithi denied the claim, saying that the PM had not requested US combat troops on the ground but rather asked for more arms and advisers to increase air support for Iraqi forces.

Leading Iraqi politicians have repeatedly voiced opposition to a greater role for the remaining US forces in the country.

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