Sen. Lindsey Graham made the case for shooting down manned Russian jets during an appearance on Fox News after an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone was shot down over international waters yesterday.
Graham believes the American military should respond to Russia’s alleged provocation with violence, potentially sparking war with the nation’s largest nuclear power.
“We should hold them accountable and say, ‘If you ever get near another U.S. asset flying in international waters, your airplane would be shot down.'”
Graham then appealed to a Republican Party hero: “What would Ronald Reagan do right now? He would start shooting Russian planes down if they were threatening our asset.”
Lindsey Graham is all in favor of shooting down Russian planes (with Russian pilots) over effing unmanned *drones*—potentially starting a US-Russia war.
No doubt, the Reaper incident was most likely a deliberate provocation to have an excuse to escalate.pic.twitter.com/6MJo8l61Ks
— Gonzalo Lira (@GonzaloLira1968) March 15, 2023
Graham’s remarks came hours after two Russian Su-27 fighter jets pursued a U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone yesterday. After reaching the Reaper, the Pentagon claims that one of the jets flew in front of the drone multiple times, then dumped fuel over it before clipping the drone’s propeller, forcing it to make an emergency water landing.
The Biden administration condemned the Russian pilots for acting “in a reckless, environmentally unsound, and unprofessional manner” and being “unsafe and unprofessional” while in the air.
Russia, meanwhile, claims the U.S. craft was behaving abnormally and approaching restricted airspace at the time of the incident.
“The drone flight was carried out with its transponders turned off and violated the boundaries” of the country’s “Special Military Operation” in Ukraine, Russia’s Ministry of Defense claimed in a statement. “As a result of sharp maneuvering at about 9:30 (Moscow time), the MQ-9 drone went into an unguided flight and collided with the water surface.”
While Graham’s rallying cry made some Republicans sympathetic, others questioned whether Reagan would have rushed to start a military conflict with Russia.
“Neocons always leave two things out about Reagan,” wrote one Twitter user. “He had protectionist tendencies” and “He signed one of the greatest peace deals ever, ending the Cold War. He removed a whole category of nuclear weapons.”
“He NEVER would be in direct conflict with Russia.”
Graham is so repulsive. Neocons always leave two things out about Reagan.
1. He had protectionist tendencies.
2. He signed one of the greatest peace deals ever, ending the Cold War. He removed a whole category of nuclear weapons.
He NEVER would be in direct conflict with Russia. https://t.co/Ix5UeqmWwU
— MearsheimerRealist (@R1Machiavellian) March 15, 2023