- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 19, 2015

Robert O’Neill, the retired Navy SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden, argued Tuesday that Islamic State militants “get paid to cut off heads” and rebuked an idea suggested by the State Department that more jobs could somehow combat the terror group.

“I don’t think that a change in career path is what’s going to stop them,” he said on Fox News, responding to comments made recently by State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, according to a video provided by CNS News.

Ms. Harf made headlines earlier this week when she said on MSNBC that the U.S. has to go after the root causes of violent extremism, suggesting that a “lack of opportunity for jobs” could be part of that root cause.

“Help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people,” Ms. Harf said Monday.

But Mr. O’Neill, 38, argued that a solid military strategy is the only way the West can combat the Islamic State.

“Right now the people of [the Islamic State], if you can call them people really, they get paid to cut off heads — to crucify children — to sell slaves and to cut off heads. I don’t think that a change in career path is what’s going to stop them,” he told Fox host Greta Van Susteren.

Asked what he would do if he could give the orders, Mr. O’Neill responded: “The three pillars of our military strategy is forward defense, deterrence and alliance solidarity. And right now, the solidarity with our allies would be to go defend them. Right now, you’ve got people being burned in al-Baghdadi right outside of Ain al-Asad air base. They helped us in 2007 during The Awakening when we needed Sunni help to destroy al Qaeda in Iraq, which is pretty much who ISIS is now. Now they’re asking us for help and we’re not doing it.

“We need to get boots on the ground, in there, with our allies, our true allies, to defeat [the Islamic State] where they are. We need to meet force with force at the point of origin and we need to control the duration and intensify it,” he said.

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