Fighting the jihadists on the ground

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 23, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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In "Back of the Book" segment tonight, fighting the jihadists like ISIS on the ground. Once again, my plan for an international mercenary army overseen by the U.S.A. is posted on

And joining us now from Washington to react, the author of the big bestseller, --


-- "Things that Matter," Charles Krauthammer. All right, --


-- all I ask is that you don't say "boots on the ground," OK. That's a hundred dollar fine on Wounded Warriors now on this program. Go.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, your idea -- with your idea, you've gone from out-of-the-box to off-the-wall. Here's the problem with it.

You want to create a French-flying legion that speaks English. I like the English part. That's an improvement.

But the foreign legion is not going to work. We're not the French Empire policing West Africa in the 19th Century.

There are two problems with it. Number one, when you talk about the politics of using U.S. infantry, what you mean is that we have trouble bearing the losses, which is the reason we don't want to do it.

And we put boots in the air. That's not a fine, "boots in the air." The problem is that you don't solve the problem in your proposal because you've got Americans in command, you have Americans who can sign up.

And if we lose them, as we would in any engagement, we're not going to suffer less than we would if there were soldiers.

O'REILLY: It's a different situation though. It's not fair for the United States to have to fight the brunt of the war on terror all over the world.

You know it. I know it. It's ruining our treasury. It's ruining our national morale. And we need to have an alternative to that.

The United Nations is useless. We all know that. Yes, they can go into villages in Africa and warn people about Ebola and that's fine. But they can't confront these people.

And then the terrorists know there's no will to fight them in the west, Charles. This would change that mentality. Go ahead.

KRAUTHAMMER: But, Bill, saying that something is needed is not an argument for saying it's going to work. I'm trying to explain why it's not going to work.

Number one, we will inevitably suffer American losses. And even if it's a contractor, not a member of the U.S. Army, it still hurts as much. And it still demoralizes us.

I'll give you an example. In Benghazi, two of the four who died were contractors.

O'REILLY: Right.

KRAUTHAMMER: Did we mourn them any less than we did --

O'REILLY: I think it's more palpable though to the American people.

KRAUTHAMMER: It is not. You still --

O'REILLY: The losses are terrible but the losses are inevitable.


O'REILLY: If you're going to fight terrorism, you're going to have losses. Go ahead.

KRAUTHAMMER: But this doesn't solve the problem because there are still going to be Americans who are going to die. Yes, there are going to be some non-Americans, right.

So, we figure, that's not going to be hard on our psyche. The problem is, do you really want to be running around the world, responsible for a band of desperadoes.

O'REILLY: Oh, come on, desperadoes.

KRAUTHAMMER: That's a center (ph) on who you're going to get. Yes. Do you want to recruit from the same pool that ISIS is. You're going to get the marginalized --

O'REILLY: No, and that's what why the United States administers it. Look, you heard Mr. Prince at the top of the program, certainly a responsible man, all right, who ran a merc organization.

KRAUTHAMMER: They were all Americans.

O'REILLY: OK. But you can vet --

KRAUTHAMMER: So, do you want a merc organization that's all Americans.


KRAUTHAMMER: Then you hadn't solved any problems.

O'REILLY: It has to be vetted by U.S. Special Forces and NATO officers.

KRAUTHAMMER: So, you want a Tunisian -- so you want a marginalized Tunisian that you're going to pay a hundred thousand dollars a year. Look, I've seen all the Beau Geste movies.

But these people that you are going to recruit are not going to be honorable, impoverished aristocrats. You are going to get the marginalized from all over the world.

O'REILLY: Then they don't make the cut, Charles. I mean, it has to be almost like Special Forces to get in.

And I do believe, around the world, there are 25,000 of those people available. And they would sign up for this project. But, anyway, look -- look --

KRAUTHAMMER: If you pay them -- if you pay them a hundred thousand dollars a year, you're paying $2.5 billion, which is five times what the --

O'REILLY: That's lunch money to Saudi Arabia. I mean, --

KRAUTHAMMER: But it's five times --

O'REILLY: -- this coalition we're talking about can easily fund that.

KRAUTHAMMER: It is five times the cost of the training of the Syrian supposed moderates --

O'REILLY: Oh, come on. How do you know that's not going to work.

KRAUTHAMMER: -- that you decried as a drain on our treasury.

O'REILLY: I decried it because it wouldn't work. If it would work, I'd support it.

You know it's not going to work, and I know it's not going to work. It's a facade. It's smoke screen.

KRAUTHAMMER: You're going to have a bunch of Tunisians, you're going to have a bunch of Sri Lankans, you're going to have Argentinians, and you --

O'REILLY: You're going to have the best.

KRAUTHAMMER: And do you think they are going to fight against -- on the one hand, you can have ISIS people who believe in something. On the other hand, you have people who are there just for the money. Who do you think wins.

O'REILLY: If they're vetted properly and I'll get Sylvester Stallone if I have to.


I have confidence this could work. Look, I could be wrong but I know it's going to happen because, again, the United States simply cannot do this all over the world.

And there's too many of these terrorists. They're going to pop up, you get one, and there's another one.

But, anyway, Charles, I appreciate your dissent. You know me, I listen to you. But we'll see what happens. Charles Krauthammer, everybody.

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