Krauthammer on US rescue mission in Iraq: ‘This was a commando raid’

Charles Krauthammer told viewers Friday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that while U.S. troops participated in a hostage rescue mission in northern Iraq this week that killed an American service member, the Obama administration is correct in saying we’re not engaged in a combat mission against ISIS in that country.

Krauthammer, a syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor, explained the distinction of a combat operation.

“The administration in its own clumsy way is trying to make a distinction, which is a valid one, between ground operations in which you seize territory and you advance with large infantry units, as we did in taking over Iraq in the first place. That's not what we're doing,” Krauthammer said, adding, “This was a commando raid, and it’s different.”

“Imagine if we had a commando raid coming out of Afghanistan into Pakistan, doing what was done in the raid in Iraq the other day,” he added. “You wouldn't say we have combat in Pakistan, you'd say we launched a raid, as we did on the bin Laden compound.”

He also emphasized the importance of being able to honor the U.S. soldier who was killed in the rescue operation, identified Friday as Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler.

“The only thing I think is really important is that the person who was involved in this, the special ops hero who died in this should be eligible for combat decorations,” he said, “[Wheeler] will be, and the family will be eligible for the appropriate benefits.”