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Glenn: I want to go to our national security expert, Buck Sexton, in our newsroom, where are you, in New York? We welcome you to the program, Buck. I see 275 soldiers dispatched, and I have my own theories on this, but to me that seems like a death sentence. If the region is going to turn anti-American, what happens? What happens to those 275 Marines going over there? Is this a Jimmy Carter moment?
Buck: Well Glenn, if they’re not able to keep the U.S. presence in the embassy in Baghdad, the whole country is going down. That would essentially be the bellwether moment. That would be the point at which we recognize that this has gone far beyond our control. Two hundred seventy-five troops in addition to whatever they have now at the embassy, and I can tell you that embassy is a fortress, as people have brought up.
It cost nearly $1 billion. It was designed specifically to withstand indirect fire from mortars, from rockets. It also is blast protected so that it can’t be easily destroyed by say a massive car or truck bomb, which of course is what Iraq is known for these days. So there is, I think, a lot that they can do, Glenn, to batten down the hatches, so to speak, and these troops are auxiliary to what’s already in place. But if the embassy goes, the country is gone, it’s all over.
Glenn: Okay, so what do you think about this theory that some of those 275 are specialists to destroy whatever it is that we have? I mean, this is not just an embassy. This is bigger than Vatican City. This is massive, a massive complex, and I’m sorry, but I was told when we were at FOX to not talk about the embassy, when I was at CNN told not to talk about the embassy.
I mean, both sides were afraid when the White House, of both sides, called and said, because I was bringing up what is this embassy, we were told stop talking about it, move on. And I think there’s something to this embassy. What do you think about some of those troops being the guys going in if something goes wrong, they’re destroying the equipment or whatever it is we have in that embassy?
Buck: Well Glenn, every embassy has procedures in place for destroying classified material that they may have inside, and most of them obviously do have that kind of material inside. But in the case of Iraq, it’s not just oh, we’re going to evac the embassy. It would be we’re evac’ing the embassy under duress because an invading Al Qaeda army or an all-out Sunni-Shia civil war has broken out.
So even with all the precautions they have in place, this could quickly become a very incredibly dangerous situation, and I think that the troops that have been sent there now are quite honestly evac specialists. That’s the most likely scenario, people who would be able to, Marines, for example, who would be able to put down covering fire to allow them to at least hold off any invading force inside of Baghdad and others who are essentially loading up the choppers.
That’s what’s happening here. They’re preparing for the worst case scenario, and as I’ve said, if the embassy goes, Glenn, it’s all over.
Glenn: Real quick just because I’ve got less than a minute here, but real quick, we are looking at a scenario, we are inviting Iran in and saying hey, Iran, help. This is a Sunni and Shia thing. I mean, this could become Sunni and Shia civil war over this caliphate, could it not?
Buck: It absolutely could, Glenn. The worst-case scenario here for Iraq and for the region and quite honestly for the world is that this turns into a Sunni-Shia civil war that brings in all the Middle East countries of the region backing their preferred sides, this turns into a giant proxy battlefield. And if that happens, oil markets, all those who think that this doesn’t affect us, it’ll put the globe into turmoil. And they tried this before, Glenn. This was the playbook in 2006-2007, and they got brought back from the brink by 160,000 U.S. troops. We don’t have that there anymore.
Glenn: Thank you very much, appreciate it.