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Commander -- they've called he was the commander of the USS Cole which is where this whole war on terror began.
In the late 1990s when al-Qaeda attacked the United States destroyer in the Middle East and -- -- -- -- Commander of that ship the captain of that -- He's retired from the United States navy and avenues as his frequently speaks out on national security issues are wanna get your opinion today on what options the United States as.
Well I think the first option we need to look at -- is to not get engaged in this conflict.
While chemical weapons use is a moral outrage.
That doesn't define that our national security is in fact threatened to the point that we should take military action in get a ball.
We haven't defined what the objectives are going to be in this conflict we haven't defined -- in state.
-- we defined what are our issues are going to be should we create a problem where the Asad regime is toppled.
And we have rebels backed by al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Take over -- star running their country.
Speculators are sitting here -- former naval officer another -- O'Meara -- -- naval officers guard John McCain Senator McCain.
Has come out they're very different position he says this is a moment this is the time we should arm the Syrian rebels we should -- -- -- government.
We -- establish a pro American western democracy in Syria.
What do you think of that claim.
Well with all respect to Senator McCain he has been itching to get into a fight for a long time I'm not exactly sure why.
If we -- and engage in Syria we have to remember there are tremendous second and third order -- because of who is in that country.
Namely they have a lot of backing from the Russians.
They certainly have close ties with Iran and has -- there and if -- in fact decide to take them down.
We're going to be putting -- into a corner it is going to be taking our fire out the ball with the ran in their nuclear weapons.
And who knows how has -- as -- terrorist organization.
The we've been fighting a proxy war with four decades is going to react and in fact may bring fight here -- home.
You know one of the things I've heard you talk about -- passes -- failure responds to the attack on the US this call.
And the American embassies in East Africa in the late 1990s.
Is what ultimately encouraged al-Qaeda to attack the United States September 11.
If we do nothing if we see these chemical attacks president Obama's laid out -- -- -- a year -- saying.
That would require an American response secretary of state Kerry has said we must punish -- we must deter further attacks.
If we do nothing aren't we in fact encouraging more attacks.
Maybe against justice certainly more riled some and at least in the years to come.
I think the key point is we should do nothing right now.
We clearly have not been presented with the proof as the American people that the Asad regime has in fact launch those weapons.
We need to see what the proof is so that we're not having a repeat like Iraq where.
Even if there is chemical weapons use let's have a verification and ensure that the solid proof is there before we take action.
I think secondly we need to look at.
How we want to go in and what we want to achieve there until those have been defined.
To go and -- -- -- tomahawk missiles pre warning the -- administration right now.
That they are already moving things out -- moving aircraft they're moving weapons systems.
They're putting them next to schools next the mosque areas they know that we -- not gonna go after.
And try and take out with tomahawk missiles.
And the fact that we're also while moving -- aircraft carrier the Truman aircraft carrier battle group is in the region the Nimitz is on its way.
The fact that we are going to put an aircraft carrier battle group there yet we've already said we're not gonna put any aircraft in the Syrian airspace.
What do we expect to accomplish putting even a hundred tomahawk missiles into that country.
Nothing more than we did following the embassy attacks from President Clinton.
-- bunch of missiles into Sudan and Afghanistan and achieved virtually nothing in deterring.
Al-Qaeda from planning the attack not only on my ship but also the 9/11 attacks as well.
So it may not be the right timing right now when I say do nothing now may not be the right time to take action.
That consensus may build because another aspect is.
We have no standing under international law to conduct these strikes right now.
Here they don't miss -- -- do you bring that -- -- because today -- the United Nations.
The United Nations representatives of the Security Council meeting the British apparently -- with him.
Minutes -- -- presenting -- better resolution before the Security Council taking action against Syria.
And I thought is that the Russians would -- -- maybe even the Chinese when they abstain if not veto such a resolution.
So you're right if the United States does take action it would be with out.
They cover of the United Nations.
I wanna turn now in your role as a military officers service worker officer one of the things you get a when -- have command of the USS -- you -- Thom -- says you have cruise missiles.
Why -- an attack on Syria look like if we went ahead with something in the next few days and we're gonna -- a map -- just so that our viewers can see where it.
You're talking to you.
The key thing we want to do if you want to punish the Asad regime is not to remove them from power -- in fact.
Take out some of the enablers in their country -- allow them.
To conduct these attacks you want to take out some of the key communications notes.
You want to hit some of the critical military infrastructure.
Some of the airplane some of the helicopters that are being used in the attacks against civilians.
You want to take out some of the key bridges or buildings -- transportation nodes that are allowing him to move their forces around the country.
What you don't wanna cripple the regime at the same time you want to make sure that a very clear signal is sent in a limited fashion.
There were gonna conduct these strikes they're gonna last for a number of days this is what we're gonna do damage to.
And that we're in fact gonna go after them the fact that we are giving them heads up what we are going to strike -- not strike.
And that they are in fact moving those things right now in areas where we wouldn't hit.
Two shows that the administration -- -- -- they want to do something.
Is going to end up doing -- nothing that is going to be effective or had the desired effect of deterring the Asad regime in the future.
Are we -- you put up with about the map about they production storage facilities for chemical weapons.
Why I think that I've heard from some experts say that the United States would have the ability we have -- new exotic weapons.
That are designed specifically to take out.
Chemical weapons containers storage facilities and we could do so.
Without releasing toxins in the air other experts say -- the minute you try to destroy those.
You release toxins in there you're going to kill the civilians in the region like -- just said they're going to relocate those weapons near public.
Sites near mosques near schools near hospital so we would end up having major collateral damage your right -- who attacked us.
However it -- what is your argument what do you think it can we destroy these chemical weapons without collateral damage or is that going to be depressed we would have to pay.
I think we have to look at what the risk is going to be in doing it where it is located a key component is going to be where the prevailing winds at the time of the attack.
Because clearly anything that we decide to blow up.
Is gonna happen down range of -- and we needed to find out OK with these weapons even if we can destroy the vast majority of chemicals.
That they're made up -- There is still going to be some residual the falls out how fast is it going to have degrade who was it going to affect there's going to be collateral damage no matter what we hit.
The key is to minimize it as much as possible.
Yes your personal question now when you're on the USS calling your attacked you know what it's like to have it's a small tight quarter share with your crew.
You you're under attack you're dealing with things that you may prepare for and train for but you've never experienced before.
Happening on us for US destroyers right now that are in the eastern Mediterranean where they made for all we now.
And be a war within 24 hours.
I think these young men and women under the leadership of their commanding officers have been fully briefed on the situation.
They know how dangerous it could be sitting offshore even in the launch baskets miles from shore they're still a possibility that they could have cruise missiles blindly shot at them.
They need to be prepared and they're going through drill after drill after drill making sure they know how to fire those tomahawks.
And get them off in a timely manner if there's an issue with one of the missiles practicing how they can -- target another missile as quickly as possible and get it out of the launcher.
So I think they are doing the drills and what is necessary this is something that.
Period before you deploy training and practicing doing you spent a career hoping in training you never have to use this type of violent weapon.
But nonetheless when the time comes -- the commander in chief says.
Go you're ready to pull the trigger and do an effective job to secure the nation's objectives.
Okay thank you very much commander current live -- and the reason I just love talking to you is because -- -- of the strategic picture.
You've been a guy on the ground you've been there you've done that you've actually been in the front line of battle and I thank you so much.
For your service and for your expertise to rest today well thank thank you -- but also thank you my crew did a phenomenal job saving that ship that morning.
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