The Corner

There Will Be Consequences for American Sailors’ Surrendering to the Iranians

The humiliating videos of American sailors on their knees and apologizing will be shown for years by Iran across the Middle East. This is a serious blow to American credibility and toughness.

The surrender should also raise a legitimate inquiry inside the Navy about rules for self-protection and opening fire vs. surrendering. It is not clear from the video whether overwhelming Iranian force was applied. It does not seem so, judging from the size of the Iranian boats.

The British crew members of a similar riverine craft were captured by Iran years ago. Shame on the U.S. Navy and CENTCOM if they did not issue guidelines after that happened. And if there were guidelines, did they stipulate surrendering?

The U.S. Navy and CENTCOM have an obligation to make our rules plain to all service members. I cannot conceive of a guideline advising a captured American serviceman to apologize to his captors.

Nor could I believe that an American secretary of state THANKED the Iranians! That select example of groveling will also be played throughout the Middle East for years to come.

Bing West — Bing West, a bestselling author and former assistant secretary of defense, served as a Marine grunt in Vietnam and later as a dean at the Naval War College. A graduate ...

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