HUFFPOST VIDEO
09/11/2013 11:55 am ET

Iraq And Afghanistan War Veterans On Syria: Obama Needs To Remember These Lessons (VIDEO)

As a fiery debate continues about whether the U.S. should intervene in Syria, veterans of America's most recent military conflicts visited HuffPost Live to share how their wartime experience colors their perception of what action the country should take.

Iraq veteran Brian Van Reet said he's heard President Obama and Secretary John Kerry say that Syria is not Iraq, but he feels administration officials should take a closer look at the lessons learned in Iraq and how they apply to the conflict at hand. One of those lessons, he said, is what it means to truly commit to intervening in another country.

"Once we commit something, the tendency is to commit more and for longer," he said. "Another lesson is we should beware of committing unless all our major allies are ready to go with us. In this case, even the Brits have said 'no thanks,' and they haven't done that since Vietnam."

Afghanistan veteran Adrian Bonenberger supports diplomacy, but he said that if Obama does move forward with military intervention, a targeted strike would be "insufficient." He added that the war in Afghanistan should have taught the U.S. that relying only on tactical strikes doesn't work.

"The last time we made a foreign policy out of tactical strikes, that led directly to ... the Taliban refusing to hand over bin Laden because they figured America would never invade, they would just send a couple Tomahawk cruise missiles to Kabul or wherever," Bonenberger said. "That is actually, weirdly enough, the proximate cause for the last 13 years of our lives, after Osama bin Laden murdered 3,000 people."

Catch full coverage of America's debate over Syria at HuffPost Live HERE.

ALSO ON HUFFPOST:

Syria War In September

CONVERSATIONS