In President Obamas speech late Sunday night, he said, The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nations effort to defeat al-Qaida. But his death does not mark the end of our effort. Connecticut resident Sgt. Maj. Caterina Veronesi of the U.S. Army agreed the American people must be cautious in their elation over Osama bin Ladens death.
Its a victory, though a delayed victory, said Veronesi. In the grand scheme of things, hes a leader, and when youre a leader you have followers, so this doesnt exactly kill the germ. Theres still a disease out there thats part of a bigger thing.
Veronesi was stationed in Baghdad, Iran, when Saddam Hussein was hanged in 2006 and she compared the two deaths. Remnants of [Saddam] still remain in Iraq, not just him, but of that belief system, she said. Because of that weve got to still have our vigilance on high alert in the midst of all that is happening, and even more so because [bin Laden] was annihilated. Theres going to be some sort of backlash in some form and weve got to be ready.
Veronesi works with Navy SEALs in Greenwich, Stamford and Wilton and said she plans to train them even harder. We cant take our eye off the objective so there will continue to be an aggressive dedication to our training, she said.
It was a CIA-led Navy SEALs squadron who raided bin Ladens compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on Sunday and killed Americas most wanted terrorist.
The mission was a good one, said Veronesi, most importantly because the U.S. didnt suffer any casualties. But she reiterated that theres too much focus on the win. If he was a smart leader he was already developing subordinate leadership in case of his death, she said. Thats how we train in the military, and Im sure the enemy is doing that. Thats what keeps the hatred and conflict an ongoing process and a challenge for us as a nation.
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