Americans should anticipate more military operations in Africa as the war on terrorism continues to morph, Sen. Lindsey Graham warned Friday.
“This war is getting hot in places that it’s been cool, and we’ve got to go where the enemy takes us,” Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill.
The South Carolina Republican’s comments came after a meeting with Defense Secretary James Mattis and followed the news that four US servicemen were killed in action in Niger in an ambush by ISIS fighters.
“The war is headed to Africa, Graham said. “It’s beginning to morph. As we suppress the enemy in the Mideast, they’re going to move, they’re not going to quit.”
Graham also said “the rules of engagement are going to change,” and explained that the US approach to counterterrorism operations will be more aggressive, moving to what he called “status-based targeting.”
“So, if you find somebody who’s the member of a terrorist organization, then we can use lethal force, they don’t have to present an immediate threat,” he said.
Graham added that authority for decision-making will also shift from the White House to the field, echoing some of President Donald Trump’s plans for the United States in Afghanistan.
“Micromanagement from Washington, DC, does not win battles,” Trump said in August.
Graham argued that with more autonomy in the field, it will be necessary for the administration to keep Congress informed, “because if we don’t like what you’re doing we can cut off the funding. But for us to make that decision, we got to know what you’re doing.”