BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – A former Army Lieutenant Colonel was in the Valley on Thursday to present a plan that he believes would defeat ISIS and save the lives of American soldiers.
Lt. Col. Scott Mann is a retired Green Beret Lieutenant Colonel, who spent almost 23 years in the U.S. Army and more than 18 years in Special Operations, during which he was deployed to insurgencies all over the world.
During the deployments, Mann developed the methodology called “village stability operations,” which has been recognized by Sen. John McCain and Gen. David Petraeus as a “game-changer” in Afghanistan.
Mann has trained more than 15,000 Navy SEALS, Marines and Special Operations soldiers, as well as senior advisers for the Department of Defense; and he has discussed the war on networks such as Fox News and MSNBC, as well as written books on the subject.
Local businessman Greg Smith wanted to bring Mann to Boardman, so he sponsored his local speaking tour.
“He was someone that was actually on the front lines, actually has fought ISIS,” Smith said
Mann said the U.S. is losing the war against ISIS, even citing recent vandalism at Youngstown State University, which promoted ISIS on the rock in front of Kilcawley Center.
“What’s Einstein’s definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. Right? Why is this any different?” he asked.
Mann says 2016 will be crucial for beating violent Islamist extremists. He said it is important for the next president to take the threat seriously.
“Any candidate that dismisses the threat of ISIS, or says they’re not here, I’m not voting for them. But at the same time, any candidate that says, ‘Well, let’s just go bomb the heck out of them,’ I’m not voting for them either, because we’ve been doing that for 15 years,” he said.
Mann said the next commander-in-chief should focus on recruiting Afghans and Iraqis that are ready to fight the Islamic state.
But until then, Mann is warning Americans that the attacks in Paris that killed 130 people are a precursor to violence here at home.
“If you want to know what’s going to happen in the United States, look at Pakistan, Europe and Indonesia. Those are the testing beds of what the bad guys are bringing here,” he said.