Former Navy SEAL Jocko Willink urged the United States to “go on offense” Friday on “Fox News Primetime” in the wake of an Iran-backed rebel group taking U.S. employees hostage at the U.S. embassy in Yemen earlier this week.
“We need to go on offense and look, it’s not just these non-state terror groups,” Willink said, referencing the Houthis, an Iran-backed rebel group.
“We got China’s military practicing bombing American warships with full-sized targets in the desert. We got the Russians conducting offensive training operations in Belarus. So you’ve got Russia, you’ve got China, you’ve got the Houthis. This type of behavior will grow because there’s no deterrence, no fear and as you said, no respect for America,” he said.
“And we need to bring that back by going on the offense and proving that we are the strong great America that we always have been.”
Willink noted the U.S. has abandoned equipment, weapons, and citizens “to the enemy in Afghanistan.” The U.S. let the Taliban “dictate” how it withdrew from the country, he added, which was “an awful message to send to the world.”
The Houthis are a terrorist group, Willink said, despite the Biden administration removing the terrorist designation from the Iranian-backed militia in February.
They’re a “fundamentalist group that uses child soldiers,” he continued. “They shell civilian areas. They put landmines in civilian cities. They execute people. They use human shields. This is absolutely a terrorist group that propagates the slogan ‘Death to America! Death to Israel!,’ and there’s no fear, there’s no deterrence.”
Willink said he “can’t even fathom a reason” that the Biden administration would not designate them as terrorists. He explained that “there’s [no] better proof” than their recent attack on the U.S. embassy in Yemen.