Another One Down, How Many More To Go?

Osama swims with the fishes and few one deny that such an end is his just reward for a career of spreading death and terror.  Given the proliferation of Islamist terrorists it might have been more appropriate to use that old rock song–Another One Bites The Dust. 

It will be very interesting to those who enjoy military history to learn more of the operational details as the years and decades go by.  Now is not the time for such information.  It is hard to believe that the WH released so much at the initial briefing and then others last week.  Too much detail is a danger to our troops and can compromise future operations.  They should not have even revealed it was a Seal Team.  It would have been sufficient to simply state that US military forces conducted an operation to kill or capture Osama and that it was successful.   It should have been limited to about that.   Whether he was armed or unarmed, resisted or not should have been ignored.   We got him and he was buried at sea. 

All those schematic drawings and talk of dropping on ropes or the number and type of helicopters being used should never have been disclosed.  The bad guys will be studying those in an effort to “harden” their next safe house for the new leader that will inevitably emerge.   All details are intelligence and that is a weapon just as sure as a bomb.   We shouldn’t reveal whether there was satellite surveillance or not or whether the raid was recorded.   For heaven’s sake we should have let the enemy guess what kind of unit carried out the raid.  Wouldn’t it have been great if they thought it was one of our regular combat platoons from the Army?   That would be a great image to let the bad guys have to think that our regular troops could carry out such a mission.  The great raid to rescue the American boys at Catabawan from the Japs on the Philippines was carried out by Army rangers.  They do have capabilities.  The raid to knock out the German artillery at Pointe Du Hoc on D-Day was also done by Rangers.

I understand the grandstanding by the politicians that is what they do but they could have crowed all they wanted without revealing so much information.  The press secretary shouldn’t be talking like he was an officer on the scene and really understands military operations.  The guy in the WH should not have publicly met with the Seals.   Giving them the unit citation is great, no problem with that or even meeting with them but it should never have been announced.   Sure as the world some of their identities will be leaked and that will endanger them and their families.   This isn’t WWII where we had static lines and clear cut battles areas and the enemy wore recognizable uniforms.  

Even the issue of how long the operation took should not have been revealed.  It was reported at 40 minutes.  That is a clue for the next bad guy.  Of course anyone with any knowledge at all of military operations would know that the actual mission to kill Osama took only a few minutes.  They may have been on the ground for 40 minutes but most of that would have been gathering data and destroying the damaged copter.  In a raid situation speed is the friend of the attacker.  Believe me they were out of the copters and breaking down doors and moving up stairs in a matter of minutes.   We are talking two, three maybe five minutes for the gunfire part of the operation unless there was an isolated snag somewhere but that would have been contained while the rest of the hunt continued quickly. 

One wonders how many back-up and plan B’s they had rehearsed and prepared for this operation?  Things are never quite as you expect when an operation begins.   A door is not where it was supposed to be or a hallway goes off a different direction than thought.   They certainly were prepared for a loss of a copter, maybe even two if necessary.  

A thankful salute to the military for a job well done.  It is one thing to train but quite another to go in harm’s way where the outcome is not guaranteed.   I hope the next mission will go well also but worry that the subordinates of Osama will have learned too much from our WH and take protective and countermeasures that will endanger our boys the next time around.  How many next times around will there be?

The peaches are only a couple of weeks away from being ripe and  ready to eat after being chilled a bit in the fridge.   www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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2 Comments

Filed under Economics, Foreign Affairs, government, history, military history

2 responses to “Another One Down, How Many More To Go?

  1. blu

    well..you are no fun! Yet I see your imagination can’t resist exploring the details and wondering what it was like to be there, and to hunt down Osama. What was it like to be the helicopter pilot? How did he land so quick?

    Were they wearing night vision goggles and could they see if people were armed or not easily or is it hard to tell?

    Those details…aw….so much fun

  2. adam

    It’s hard to think of reality vs what you read. Can you imagine when the helicopter went down, some dude took 2 seconds and started taking action to blow it up. There wasn’t a second of hesitation I’m sure. I just wish they took him alive. You know they didn’t throw his body into the ocean. There is just no way they did that. They have that thing on ice somewhere.

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