Retired Colonel Randy Watt served in a special operations task force and worked in counterterrorism operations during three separate deployments.
“If you’re not on the ground, if you’re not smelling the smells, zipping the body bags, you’re not listening to those families cry, it’s very difficult to connect yourself to the depth of what’s going on,” said Watt.
Watt led a special forces assault team in Afghanistan, capturing a Canadian teenager who was detained for 10 years, pleading guilty to the murder of U.S. Army Sergeant 1st Class Christopher Speer.
Watt was deployed again in 2006 and 2010, working on counter-terrorism—he once stood at both bases attacked by Iran earlier this week.
“The significance of launching ballistic missiles from one country into another country, is huge,” said Watt. “That is an act of war, legally.”
Watt said if the U.S. were to retaliate, it would start a fight that could play into a religious ideology believed by a group called “The Twelver’s,” who are a part of Shia Islam.
“According to the prophesies that they follow, the world must be in a complete worldwide war,” said Watt.
Because of that ideology, Watt said killing Soleimani and getting rid of ISIS would not stop the fight.
Watt commended President Trump for not retaliating and escalating the situation right now, though depending on Iran’s behavior, this could change.
Instead, turning to enforce economic sanctions and putting pressure on Iran through NATO and Russia could be even more impactful.
“I think in the long term, the sanctions are going to have an effect,” said Watt.