Small Wars Journal

Senator Graham Tells Defense Secretary Esper He Could 'Make Your Life Hell' In Battle Over Trump Africa Policy

Senator Graham Tells Defense Secretary Esper He Could 'Make Your Life Hell' In Battle Over Trump Africa Policy by Courtney Kube and Carol E. Lee – 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.

Senators and members of the House met with Esper on the margins of the Munich Security Conference. Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., who are members of the Foreign Relations Committee, led the charge, said the four people, telling Esper that Congress would not support a U.S. troop withdrawal from the Sahel region in Africa and laying out the reasons to keep the troop presence there.

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, Coons and several other lawmakers laid out their case "forcefully."…

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