• June 2, 2015
  • Varney & Company - FOX Business

U.S. Optimism Not Reflective of Middle East Developments

Robert J. O'Neill on Varney & Company

Former Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill Discusses President Obama’s Legacy and Foreign Policy.

In the eyes of many, especially those in the armed forces, there seems to be disconnect between President Barack Obama’s view on his foreign policy legacy — and the harsh reality of mayhem in the Middle East. He certainly ruffled some feathers this week, making the statement, “When I came into office, the United States in world opinion ranked below China and just barely above Russia. And today, the United States is the most respected country on earth.”

With his guest, former Navy SEAL Robert J. O’Neill, FOX News anchor Stuart Varney reflects on the president’s disarming words this week on his show Varney & Company.

What they had to say:

Varney: “You heard the president. Most respected country on earth? What do you say?”

O’Neill: “That’s optimism coming out, but I don’t see that. As far as the Middle East, we’ve got the negotiations with Iran at the end of June. We’ve got the problem with ISIS running wild, taking the surplus of machinery we left behind as the poorly led Iraqi army flees. Problems in Yemen, where we just backed out. Houthi rebels that are backed by Iran right now. Seems like everybody is making moves over there. They’re not deterred by anything because we’re not going to do anything.”

Varney: “Nobody fears the United States of America…huge military power. Nobody fears us, and I don’t think we’re respected.”

O’Neill: “I don’t think we’re respected. We’re definitely not feared. They study us, they realize one of the problems is that the American public doesn’t have the stomach for another war right now.”

Varney: “Do you believe that?”

O’Neill: “I think we’re coming around to that as the threat of ISIS grows. We’re seeing bad stuff on the internet, but the worst is going on behind the scenes.”

Varney: “Nobody wants to see 150,000 American troops walk into Iraq all over again.”

O’Neill: “It wouldn’t take that. I’m talking about something off the coast of Syria, like a Marine expeditionary unit that can send in some Marines that way…air and ground support. If the Marines fight ISIS, it’s not going to take them very long at all.”

Varney: “I want to see ISIS guys with their hands up, white flags waving, being marched away.”

O’Neill: “They make it even easier, because a lot of them want to fight to the death. They want to be martyrs. That’s an easier way to fight them.”

When pressed for numbers, O’Neill estimates “about 10,000” U.S. armed forces could take down ISIS with little difficulty.

Watch More of the Discussion: