The Navy SEAL credited with firing the fatal shots into Osama bin Laden said that eventually President Obama will commit U.S. ground forces to the fight against Islamic State militants, and when he does, the terrorists will be in for a rude awakening.
“Apparently these guys have a short memory, and they’re daring us to come back, and when we do, it will be over in a matter of days,” former Chief Petty Officer Robert O’Neill told The Washington Times.
He said that the president’s advisors will come to realize that Iraq’s military is incapable of defeating the terrorists on its own — it’ll need U.S. ground forces to do the job.
“We need to fight them. We don’t need to create jobs for them,” O’Neill told The Times, addressing a claim made by State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf earlier this week.
“If deterrence doesn’t work, which it’s not, you meet force with force at the point of origin,” he said. “We need to do that, and we’ll do that. We just need to realize that is what needs to be done.”
Although President Obama has so far resisted committing U.S. ground forces into Iraq, O’Neill believes the issue is being debated in the White House at this moment.
“I think the conversations are being had now,” he said. “They’re just figuring out how to do it. They don’t want to be seen as starting a new war.”
Giving that conversation added steam is an NBC News/Maris poll released a week ago indicating that 54 percent of those surveyed want their congressmen to authorize the use of ground forces in Iraq and Syria to fight Islamic State terrorists. Only 32 percent were opposed to the idea.
The approximate 3,000 troops currently in Iraq are serving in a training and advisory capacity, The Washington Times reported.
O’Neill, 38, retired from the Navy in 2012 after having served 16 years, which included two tours in Iraq consisting of more than 400 combat missions.
“I think we need to be more forceful with [the Islamic State],” he said. “We can teach them very quickly once we let the Marine Corps — or 82nd Airborne, or whomever — at them. We can teach them very fast. They don’t want to mess with us.”
He said the special forces are highly motivated to get back into the fight and get the job of eradicating the Islamic State done.
“Yeah, they want to get back in there,” O’Neill said. “We fought these guys before, when they called themselves a different name. And it’s surprisingly easy how we defeated them every time. They don’t want to go toe-to-toe with us — not just us, with the U.S. military.”
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