A quick thought on the Bin Laden raid…

I probably should address this in some more detail, but for now…

When Obama was watching the raid in real-time/near real-time, he HAD to have had a moment of panic, Carter/Desert One style, when the chopper went down…. If the raid had failed, the attacks on him would be merciless.

Honestly, I have never really faulted Carter for the failure of the Hostage rescue attempt. The services just did NOT have the technical capability to pull of an extremely ambitious and overly complicated raid. Some of the complications were self inflicted by DoD/iinter service rivalry, and some were just imposed by the fact that the US had never considered that its Special Operations Forces would need specialized airlift.

2 thoughts on “A quick thought on the Bin Laden raid…”

  1. Looking back at the debate at the time, the majority of the complaints directed towards the Carter Administration about Desert One was in regard to the vacillation over the decision to go. Recall at nearly the same time, one Ross Perot was getting his “people” out of Iran. That stood in sharp contrast to the response by the US government during the first phases of the Iranian hostage crisis.

    In the case of the OBL raid, I do think we are overplaying the Desert One-like risks a bit. The risk of failure was easily mitigated in this case.

  2. The Iran hostage recuse attempt plan was overly complex, and shot through with interservice rivalry. It could have been done. Richard Marcincko tells the story about the attempt from the pentagon “Sweat Frog” (teh mundanes were known as sweat hogs in pentagon parlance of teh time) and the judgment wasn’t good of all those who monitored the operation with Marcincko at the time. Charlie Beckwith said it was his fault, but teh plan was forced down Delta’s throat and he went with things he did not want, as is so often the case.

    That failure was typical of Carter’s micromanaging tendencies and he paid for it by failing of re-election against Regan. I give teh man credit for trying, but he was an idiot thinking he could go with a plan teh professionals didn’t like. Obama appears to have learned the lesson of allowing the professionals to do what they are paid and trained to do.

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