Former Navy SEAL on Obama's ISIS Strategy
New Plan of Attack or Same Old Drill? Rob O’Neill Offers Expert Analysis.
Recently President Obama took to the podium at the Pentagon. The subject: The United States’ plans to address to the growing anarchy in Iraq and rapid insurgence of ISIS.
One thing was clear. There will be “no boots on the ground.” What Obama did call for: “securing partnerships” in the region.
In the minds of many, including former Navy SEAL Robert J. O’Neill, that’s just not enough. Right after President Obama wrapped his brief speech, O’Neill wasn’t shy about sharing his reaction. He sat down with FOX Business anchor David Asman on After the Bell to voice his thoughts.
Asman: “Rob, did you hear a comprehensive military strategy for defeating ISIS from what the President just said?”
O’Neill: “No, basically what I heard was sort of a debrief. Here’s what we’ve been doing… a little bit of we need to get our partners in line…get a good coalition on the ground. We’ve been saying that for a while. We trained an army in Iraq. It cost us billions of dollars, 10 years, and they just ran away. There wasn’t a plan…not that we should be telling everyone what our plans are. There wasn’t much substance.”
Asman: “I think what riles America is that not only did we train these guys, but we gave them billions of dollars of our equipment, which in many cases is now being used by ISIS. And then we have to send in planes to destroy the equipment be bought for the Iraqis.”
O’Neill: “It’s frustrating. Again, when asked the question, are we going to put troops on the ground the answer is no. So there’s not really anything there as far as a strategy. Do we even have a coalition there?”
Asman: We’ve had a lot of success when we have people on the ground…I remember in Afghanistan, right after 9/11. I believe it was December 2001, we had SEALs such as yourself and other special forces on the ground, only a few hundred of them, able to direct plane traffic specifically where al Qaeda was. Is it conceivable that the President was hinting that might be something acceptable?”
O’Neill: “It didn’t seem that he was hinting at it. I wouldn’t mind seeing something like that happen because this is similar to what it was like to fight the Taliban in the beginning. If we had some moderates, or the Peshmerga or something like that, and we had our special forces there. Back when we started bombing in Afghanistan, the rules of engagement weren’t as strict as they are now. Now you have pilots before they hit the send button on a bomb worried about whether they’re going to go to jail.”