Hegseth: U.S. Needs to 'Mow the Lawn,' Kill Bad Guys in Middle East
After the death of a U.S. general Tuesday in the latest insider attack on NATO troops in Afghanistan, new questions are being raised about the impending U.S. withdrawal.
On Outnumbered today, Pete Hegseth weighed in alongside Harris Faulkner, Sandra Smith, Andrea Tantaros and Jedediah Bila. Hegseth, along with being a Fox News contributor, served in Iraq, is the CEO of Concerned Veterans for America, and also served as a senior counterinsurgency instructor in Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011.
He said ultimately, the Taliban is a "dedicated enemy" that is going to keep trying to "erode our will." Hegseth believes Afghanistan is at risk of ending up like Iraq, where the ISIS terror organization is on the march.
He called on the Obama administration to act over its final two years and strike the "bad guys," -like ISIS - pointing to an Israel's "mow the lawn" strategy in dealing with Hamas.
"When you've got so many radicals and so many insurgents rising up, you ultimately have to kill bad guys. Killing bad guys is part of the strategy. ... If we're not there both helping our allies and killing bad guys, nobody else is," he said.
Watch the full discussion above. Also, read some of Pete Hegseth's FoxNews.com column on "mowing the lawn" below:
In short, we should fight to ensure America keeps “mowing the lawn.” As this administration willfully sits on the porch of history and sips a beer, the seeds of international radicalism are exploding. We don’t have time to wait for ideological pesticides or economic weed-control—we need to cut the grass now, before it engulfs the entire lawn. You get the analogy: radical Islamists are the grass, America is the lawn-mower, and we need to cut them down—to the shortest length possible.
A pair of Israeli policy thinkers recently described their nation’s approach to dealing with Hamas the same way—a “mowing the grass” strategy—that, while not a long term solution, is the best-bad way to deal with a “protracted intractable conflict.” America faces the same long-war from radical Islamists. Mowing the grass means the focus will not be on defeating dangerous actors—like the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, the Taliban (Afghanistan and Pakistan-type), Hezbollah, Al Nusra Front and others—but merely on degrading their ability to strike U.S. interests.
This pragmatic, if blunt, approach requires military assets America still has: power-projection platforms, small, regional footprints, intelligence networks, technological advantages, highly skilled operators, and a Congressional “authorization for use of military force against terrorists.” It also includes influence the White House can still muster: collaboration with global and local allies and shoring up congressional will. For years, America has quietly been “at war” with radical Islamists in Yemen who seek international reach, yet the public shrugs. Why not replicate this approach elsewhere?