Fiery If US Troops Were Still in Iraq, What Would the ISIS Threat Look Like?
The Outnumbered hosts discussed how Iraq would look today if U.S. forces had stayed in the country. Pete Hegseth noted that the situation still wouldn't be perfect today, but there was a wide range of things that could have been done against extremist groups if a residual American military force had stayed behind.
He argued we would have been able to "steer our interests" more effectively, gather intelligence, carry out operations against terrorists, apply more diplomatic pressure and better support moderate groups.
Kirsten Powers pushed back, saying it's not necessarily true that "everything would be going great" if U.S. troops had remained.
"Well maybe not. Maybe we would be getting pictures of soldiers' heads being hung up by these crazy jihadists and then people would be saying, 'why are our soldiers being beheaded over there?'" she argued.
Kimberly Guilfoyle shot back that the overall skill of the U.S. military would have prevented that from taking place.
Powers noted that ISIS has been in Iraq since the beginning of the war, though Hegseth countered that al Qaeda in Iraq was defeated by U.S. troops.
Guilfoyle concluded by saying that U.S. veterans are now watching as the gains they fought for in Iraq go for "naught."
"That's why the men and women who served are so frustrated and angry because this situation has been allowed to devolve to the point of crisis," said Guilfoyle.
Powers said if U.S. troops had stayed in Iraq, then ISIS terrorists would have just remained in Syria.
Watch the full debate above.