Blaze News original: Shaping the new ‘world order’ — former Navy SEAL Admiral Robert Harward says American influence is still needed worldwide

News & Politics

Navy SEAL Admiral Robert Harward says that without a forward and present force of American influence in strategic parts of the globe, the new world order will not be a pleasant one in the coming years.

With four decades of war-fighting experience, Harward has been involved in operations in Bosnia, Panama, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen. The experienced leader led invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 and served on the National Security Council under President George W. Bush. According to his team, he’s never lost a single man under his command.

During the Trump administration, Harward was offered a role as a national security adviser but turned it down. Since then, he has been based in Abu Dhabi serving as executive vice president for international business and strategy at Shield AI. That company, according to Harward’s new book, is harnessing artificial intelligence in the field of aerospace and defense technology .

‘We’ve never been better funded; we’ve never had more capacity and capabilities.’

As a Navy SEAL, Harward has seen the development over time of special forces operations, which he said began in World War II.

“It’s changed a lot over the history. We were originally underwater or combat swimmers, to support the landings in Normandy,” he told Blaze News. “There were tremendous casualty rates there, and those same skills were needed in the Pacific.”

As the years went by with different operations in the Korean War and the Vietnam War, Harward said Special Operations Command was subsequently formed to allow direct funding for special operations.

“It wasn’t until the creator of SOCOM operations, which was dictated by Congress on the services, that the special operations community got their own money, got their own command structure, to really build the force.”

“All that landscape set the stage for what special operations are today and then showcased by the events of 9/11,” he continued.

The admiral explained that special operators were the ones to touch down first in the Middle East in response to the terrorist attack.

With all of that in mind, the war veteran detailed that SEAL training has largely managed to remain the same throughout the unit’s existence.

Since the 1950s, the training pipeline “has been infamous for how tough it is, and still today equates to about an 80% attrition rate,” Harward said. He added that he has even seen the training firsthand recently and described it as extremely difficult and possibly the hardest and longest it’s ever been. New SEALs go through over a year of training, he noted.

The special operations leader said SEALS have an incredibly high retention rate due to their ability to manage physical stress and suffering. That translates to soldiers who are able maintain an impressive amount of toughness throughout an entire career.

How does Ukraine-Russia end?

With experience in warfare between Western-backed allies and a formidable adversary, the admiral is still — like everyone else — skeptical as to whether there is any simple end to the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

“I don’t think anyone can see the end state with this; we have to assume … that Russia intends to expand and they won’t stop until they’ve subsumed all of Ukraine.”

“I don’t think either side of the table knows what end state is or how we’re going to get there,” he added.

After a trip to Finland, Harward said NATO allies feel that the conflict will be ongoing and are preparing for the worst.

“How are we going to reach appeasement? Politically that’s becoming a tougher and tougher element. … I believe what I heard in Europe: that Russia intends not to stop until they’ve taken all of Ukraine.”

‘I told the president, “I’m on your bench.”‘

This led into a discussion of Harward’s view on how American influence should be implemented throughout the world as a whole.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Harward spent time backpacking and hitchhiking across the Middle East, something he said wasn’t as dangerous as it sounds. In fact, it was quite the opposite, he explained. The West was supported in Afghanistan and Iraq at that time, he recalled, and many Westerners went to these countries to seek enlightenment.

Harward remembered a story about seeing some Irishmen driving through the desert in a Volkswagen van. He noted that Kandahar was referred to as “Small America” at the time, due to the number of USAID programs supporting building irrigation systems.

“There were Americans in Kabul who were running little stores,” he said.

You can’t do that now, the admiral continued, because America has continued to pull out forces and does not have forward presence in areas of contention.

Ramifications of long-standing policies like this are what he was hoping would be reversed under the Trump administration, but he’s seen a regression under the Biden administration.

The shape of the “world order” will be determined in the next four years, he stated.

“That’s why this election is so important: What the world order is going to look like going forward is going to be determined in the next four years.”

In response to the idea of foreign governments rejecting or not wanting American presence in their countries, Harward referenced the book “Embracing Defeat,” which is focused on how Japan changed direction after World War II through American influence.

“Afghanistan is gone,” he said. “Let’s see how [the Taliban] evolve[s] now that they have to address the people’s needs.”

“Iraq is another challenge due to Iranian influence.”

He claimed that leaving those countries created vacuums and created opportunities for other countries to step in and have influence and therefore guide what they would ultimately become.

Former military member and combat engineer Matthew Harley told Blaze News that he disagreed with the notion that American influence needs to be forced in the region.

“I think someone needs to be in charge, but it shouldn’t be the bully with all the cool toys with no real competition,” he said. “Those are good points he brings. Does it make them right? Not really.”

“Who’s living the better life, the person who can create their destiny or the person whose future is determined by the ‘influence’ of another country?” the former soldier added.

Harward remarked on President Trump’s offer to have him as national security adviser during his administration, which he called “an incredible honor and privilege” but admitted it wasn’t the right time.

“I told the president ‘I’m on your bench.'”

Harward added that he supported the policies Trump was bringing to the table but had not been satisfied with the Obama administration and felt the country needed to shift gears. He says that now that he is in a different place, he would welcome the opportunity from Trump if he wins and if it is offered.

The state of military funding

“We’ve never been better funded; we’ve never had more capacity and capabilities. In my opinion, the forces are the best trained and educated in our history.”

Harward described a U.S. military apparatus that is actually the most capable it’s ever been. Despite resources having been cut from SOCOM by about 14% to go toward a broader, more existential threat, he said this hasn’t changed the fact that funding has been there during the Biden administration.

The massive national debt, however, has caused every arm of the military to be incredibly strategic with its money, he went on. At the same time, however, he reiterated that the Department of Defense has received everything it has wanted over the last two decades.

The real issue is recruitment and retention.

Harward’s book, “The Gouge! How to Be Smarter Than the Situation You Are In,” is available on
Amazon.

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