Former Navy SEAL on ‘photo op’ presidency: 90 percent of troops don’t back president

A former Navy SEAL and controversial author railroaded out of the service for political reasons told Fox News Wednesday that President Obama is running a “photo op” presidency little respected by troops in the field.

Carl Higbie, a petty officer who left the Navy in 2012 and made an unsuccessful run for Congress in Connecticut, sat down for “On the Record” with Greta Van Susteren to discuss Obama’s military leadership and plans to train yet more fighters in Iraq.

Higbie’s verdict on both counts was negative.

“Effective today, the president? A photo-op? Or something in between?” Susteren asked.

“Photo-op. Complete photo-op,” Higbie answered. “This is indicative of a global failure of his foreign policy.

“He stands in front of these guys, gets a photo-op, everything like that, while saying he’s going to send 3,000 guys to combat Ebola, but I’m not going to send any to combat an actual enemy that’s really threatening America.

“I’d say most of the troops, probably over 90 percent, do not support the president.”

Check out Higbie’s interview with Van Susteren here, via the Daily Caller.

Granted, that observation comes from a vocal critic of the Obama administration. Higbie’s 2012 book “Battle on the Homefront, a Navy SEAL’s Mission to Save the American Dream,” about the politicization of the armed forces in the Obama Era, led to political pressure that pushed him to leave the Navy a couple months prior to his scheduled discharge, according to the Daily Beast.

After he returned to civilian life and went into politics, the Navy even attempted to change the terms of his separation from an “honorable” discharge to a “general” discharge, basically belittling his service after the fact.

It took almost two years to get the “honorable” status restored, according to Breitbart.

But just because Higbie has clear reasons for disliking the current administration, that doesn’t mean his experience counts for nothing – and that includes training foreign forces.

Since Obama has repeatedly said American ground forces won’t be returning to Iraq to fight the terrorist group known as Islamic State or ISIS, Van Susteren asked Higbie about the potential of the men who will be fighting.

As a former trainer of foreign forces when he was with the SEALs, Higbie’s answer was both informed and dismaying.

“It’s not effective,” he said. “They don’t have the fortitude to actually fight an enemy like ISIS.”

Nothing that’s happened so far, including the Iraqi army’s embarrassing capitulation in the face of the enemy in June, has shown Higbie to be wrong.

“Our troops want to fight this fight,” Higbie said. “Let us fight the battle.”

Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at [email protected].

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