- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Robert O’Neill, the former Navy SEAL who claimed to have killed 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, voiced his support Tuesday for women serving in combat roles.

Appearing in an interview with Fox Business host Stuart Varney, Mr. O’Neill was asked: “Do you think that women should be part of special ops teams that go in and shoot down Osama bin Laden?”

“I’ve operated with women,” Mr. O’Neill said, according to a clip obtained by Raw Story. “I know these Islamic fighters, they don’t fear death, but they do fear Hell. And if they are killed by women, they go to hell as far as they know.

“So, I like to say, lock and load, ladies,” he said. “If they don’t lower the standards and they pass them, I think they should get a shot”

Mr. Varney asked how Mr. O’Neill could feel safe going into a life-and-death situation with a woman by his side. “I’m told that it changes the dynamics of the group that you’re operating with,” he said.

Mr. O’Neill agreed that women could “potentially change the dynamic” and argued against turning the military into a “social experiment,” but ultimately said he was OK with women in combat as long as the standards stay the same.

“It’s equal-opportunity-type stuff,” he said. “If they don’t lower the standards, yes, they should be able to.”

“There’s definitely a place for women,” he added. “Women and men working together is better.”

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced in December that all combat jobs would be open to women beginning this year. Special Forces say women are not prepared for duty on the front lines, and that the service is not currently prepared to hire them, Mr. Varney said.

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