Local Iraq War vet: US should not go back, Iraqis need to defend their freedom

Local Iraq War vet: US should not go back, Iraqis need to defend their freedom

The crisis in Iraq is stirring a lot of emotions in soldiers who fought in the Iraq War.

One of them, a local man, has been sharing his insights on CNN.

"It was a gut wrenching feeling almost like a sucker punch," said former Marine Adam Banotai in reaction to the recent falling of Fallujah, Iraq to ISIS insurgents.

The Schnecksville man helped to secure Fallujah almost a decade ago.

"We didn't think it would fall so quickly, so easily. That was more a slap in the face was what we fought so hard to take was not fought for equally hard to defend," Banotai said.

But he says the best thing the U.S. can do is stay out of now, chaos riddled Iraq.

"I think it would be an absolute mistake to send troops back to Iraq. In part because of the way I think it would be handled," he went on the say.

The 31 year-old, who served two eight-month tours in Iraq, says both the current and previous American presidents have mishandled the war.

"The war was fought with one hand tied behind our back. If we could have unleashed the full might of the U.S. military, I don't think there would have been an insurgency in the first place because there would have been a complete and overwhelming victory," Banotai went to explain.

However Banotai admits no matter the money, expertise, or equipment of the U.S. military, long term democratic success rests with the Iraqi people.

"[Iraqis] say, 'We are not going to tolerate these militant rebels coming into our country.' They need to be the ones to stand up for own democracy, their own right to live freely," he said.

Banotai thinks a possible solution is to break Iraq into three separate countries and people are listening to his points.

CNN has had him on air several times already and he's due back in New York to appear on the cable news channel on Thursday.

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