Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) said it was “exhilarating” hearing the news that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was dead over the weekend, but warned Americans against growing weary of maintaining a presence in the Middle East.
Speaking to Fox News’ Dana Perino on her show “The Daily Briefing,” Crenshaw said Americans should be proud of the special operators who participated in the raid in Syria and praised the existing strategy in Syria:
“We should recognize that our strategy up until now led to this outcome. And it’s a good outcome and we should all be proud of the president for making that decision.”
Watch his comments below:
But Crenshaw — a former U.S. Navy SEAL — reminded Americans that there are still elements of ISIS that will continue to plot acts of terrorism:
“We can’t take our eyes off the ball. We have to remember what’s going to happen next, mid-level commanders will try to take his spot, there still is an ISIS insurgency.”
He went on to praise the existing strategy in Syria which he said was cost-effective, adding that it helped to maintain relationships with allies in the region who provided critical intelligence that lead to the raid on Baghdadi.
When Perino asked Crenshaw how elected officials can convince Americans to support a prolonged presence overseas, he said leaders should be honest about what their goal is:
“Honesty is the answer. We have to be honest about our mission. Ask ourselves whether it is deterrence or defeat or simply stopping additional attacks on the homeland. It’s a mix of all three is the reality and I understand people get frustrated with our extended presence there.”
He added that Americans have to remember “this is a long-term battle against an ideology that truly wants to kills us and attack the homeland.”