Thursday, May 5, 2011

The risks of Operation NEPTUNE'S SPEAR

Slate has a rundown of just how many things could have gone wrong during DevGru's brilliantly executed raid on the bin Laden compound.  If you still aren't convinced that the decision to send in the commandos, rather than drop bombs or launch cruise missiles, was a brave one politically and militarily, read that article.

In essence, the op was the confluence of good intelligence, political courage, and absolutely flawless rehearsal and execution by the elite of the elite.

Can you imagine the damage to US prestige worldwide and the special operations and intelligence communities here at home if the mission had been a disaster on the scale of Desert One (Operation EAGLE CLAW) or the Black Hawk Down incident (Operation GOTHIC SERPENT)?  The Congressional investigations alone would have taken years  to conduct, and our national security would be the worse for it.

The President, rightly or wrongly, would have been blamed had the mission failed.  He therefore deserves praise for making the decision to send in DevGru, just as they deserve the plaudits being heaped upon them for their bravery and intrepidity in getting the job done, even though we'll almost certainly never know their names.

Maybe Mark Bowden can write another book.  Given the sources for his books Black Hawk Down and Killing Pablo, he seems to have major connections in the special operations community.

EDIT: I should also add that while the SEALs of DevGru are getting a lot of attention for the operation, the aviators of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment really ought to be applauded as well for their excellent flying under what sounds like pretty adverse conditions (to say the least).


  1. This has nothing to do with the post. However, I scanned down and saw your High Priase section and saw that dad29 called you a pompous ass. Coming from daddio, that's about the funniest and most ironic statement I've ever seen.

    Especially, the nerve of it. This from the guy who accused me of ad hominem attacks on Rush Limbaugh, then refers to Joanne Kloppenburg as Kloppadillo.

  2. Heh. The thing for me is that "pompous ass" is a charge to which I'll happily plead guilty. So mostly I'm bemused that the best Dad could do was an insult that doesn't actually insult me.