Graham told US television on Wednesday about his plan to defeat the Islamic State, and radical Islamic extremism, which he hatched in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks, using a sporting soundbite.
"You have to go in on the ground and hit them there. I’m looking for an away game when it comes to ISIL, not a home game," said the US presidential hopeful.
"If we don't do these things soon, what you've seen in Paris is coming to America."
The senator hopes that he would be able to put together a regional force comprised of fighters from Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and back them up with 20,000 US troops in Iraq and Syria. Graham thinks his plan will enable the US to reestablish itself as a regional force in the Middle East, where Russia and Iran are providing substantial help to Iraqi and Syrian government forces fighting terrorism there.
Writing in National Interest on Sunday, foreign policy and national security Daniel L. Davis said that such proposals were worrying, and described the idea as borne out of a "stunning lack of understanding" of the problem.
"The problem of ISIS is far, far deeper than taking out some number of fighters. It has been more than a decade in the making, involves horrific political conditions in Syria and Iraq, and includes strongly held religious beliefs morphed with twisted ideology, a multi-sided civil war and complicated economic and cultural factors. That toxic mix is not going to be solved by deploying US ground troops."
"It seems to be lost on many of those who advocate sending in ground troops that ISIS was itself created out of the wounded-but-not-defeated remnants of Al Qaeda in Iraq, after the US spent eight years fighting and dying there."