Truth Be Told: Is ISIS Losing Ground or Gaining Control?
O’Neill: “We Need to Get Boots on the Ground. We Need to Take Out the Capital.”
For months now, President Obama has assured the nation that we’re making strides in defeating ISIS. According to the Commander in Chief, it’s the United States, not ISIS, that has the upper hand.
That rhetoric is in stark contrast to the latest report from CIA director John Brennan. In a June 16 speech addressed to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Brennan was anything but positive.
“Unfortunately despite all our progress against ISIL on the battlefield and in the financial realm,” said Brennan, “our efforts have not reduced the group’s terrorism capability and global reach.”
At the end of the day, where do we stand on the war on terror? Sitting down with FOX News Stuart Varney, former Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill offers his perspective.
Varney: “Just on Tuesday, Rob, the president said that we were making progress against ISIL…that we were actually winning this battle. How come such a contraction from what the president said on Tuesday and what Brennan said today?”
O’Neill: “I think they both know the presidency is almost over. I don’t think the director of the CIA is worried about his job anymore. He knows a lot more about what’s going on and he’s going to tell the truth.”
Varney: “That’s a cynical point of view.”
O’Neill: “I try not to be cynical, because I really think people are trying to do the right thing, but I think the president does stuff more for political things. The reason he pulled out of Iraq, right or wrong, was a political move. I’ve been saying since I’ve been a FOX News contributor, we need to get American boots on the ground and get rid of this capital (Raqqa). We’re here arguing about whether we can use words like ‘jihad’ and I’m wondering...either we do it now or our kids fight the jihad, our grandchildren fight the jihad.”
Varney: “You want boots on the ground. You want to go attack…take it to them.”
O’Neill: “Take it to them. Take out the capital. They’re able to recruit just because of this glorious capital. They’re pretty much untouchable. We do airstrikes. We have guys fighting them, but we’re not fighting them the way we need to be fighting them.”
Varney: “Is America going to be behind you? There’s a sense of war wariness.”
O’Neill: “This has been going on a long time. We have a saying in the SEAL teams. You don’t have to like it but you do have to do it. How much do you love your children? The jihad and sharia are on the way.”
Varney: “You’re going to send our guys there. Boots on the ground. There’s going to be tense urban fighting. That’s costly, both in blood and treasure.”
O’Neill: “It’s very costly. We would lose people. But how much bigger are we going to allow this to get? It can’t just be we roll in there and crush them like we did before… They have Raqqa. We need to go in and take it. The hard part is not occupying it but giving it back to a legitimate Muslim coalition.”
Varney: “The next president has to do this.”
O’Neill: “Absolutely. He or she will be dealing with this. It’ll be on that desk January 21 next year. I try to stay optimistic. I hope that a lot of decisions aren’t made just based on politics.”