President Donald Trump is desperately trying to claim that the death of ISIS militant Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is more significant than the death of Osama bin Laden. In a press conference Sunday morning, Trump said that bin Laden only knocked down the World Trade Towers and killed over 3,000 people and sparked two wars. Baghdadi was a bigger deal, Trump claimed, because he was running what amounted to his own country.
Conservative commentator Max Boot was clear that this isn't "mission accomplished" for Trump and anyone who thinks that would be wrong.
"If people do take that perspective, but I think it will be very shortsighted," Boot told host Ana Cabrera. "Simply killing a terrorist leader does not necessarily kill the organization. Remember, in 2016, a U.S. drone strike killed the leader of the Taliban, and the Taliban are as much of a threat as ever in Afghanistan."
The same could be said for joint special operations fighters who killed top al-Qaida fighters. Neither bin Laden's death nor the mission against al-Qaida stopped the terrorists in the region. In fact, Boot argued, it transformed al-Qaida into a much more violent and powerful group known as ISIS today.
Retired Gen. Mark Hertling explained during a CNN appearance Sunday that he doesn't see Baghdadi's death to be more significant than bin Laden.
"What I'll tell you, and I'll reinforce what Max said a little while ago," Hertling began. "In my several years in combat, we killed quite a few leaders of terrorist organizations, and every time we killed one of them, and it was a high-value target, another one would pop up later. This is an organization; these Islamic extremists will continue to repopulate."
He explained that the fact Baghdadi killed himself with a suicide vest "Tells me everything I need to know." ISIS still has "the will and the desire to fight until the death."
Watch the full conversation below: