WASHINGTON -- A leading Republican lawmaker on U.S. military policy says he wants American officials to consider establishing permanent military bases in Afghanistan.
Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina says that having a few U.S. air bases in Afghanistan would be a benefit to the region and would give Afghan security forces an edge against the Taliban.
Graham tells NBC television's "Meet the Press" that he wants to see the U.S. have "an enduring relationship" with Afghanistan to ensure that it never falls back into the hands of terrorists.
President Obama plans to begin drawing down American forces in Afghanistan next year and hand over security to Afghan forces in 2014.
Obama has talked about an enduring presence in Afghanistan but not exactly what that would entail.