Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called for the US to start shooting down Russian planes that encounter US aircraft in response to the downing of the MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea.
Graham told Fox News host Sean Hannity that the US should tell Russia if “you ever get near another US asset flying in international waters, your airplane will be shot down.”
“What would Ronald Reagan do right now? He would start shooting Russian planes down if they were threatening our assets. American foreign policy is in freefall,” Graham added.
The Russian military said the US drone was intercepted near Crimea in airspace Moscow restricted, while the US insists it was on a “routine” surveillance flight conducted in international airspace.
The incident risks a major escalation between the US and Russia. Graham claimed if President Biden doesn’t take more action, World War III could break. But if the president takes Graham’s advice and starts shooting down Russian aircraft, it would kick off a direct war between NATO and Russia.
Graham’s rhetoric throughout the war has been extremely hawkish as he called for the assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin several times. In December 2022, Graham said the war in Ukraine will only end if Russia is broken and Putin is “taken out.”