The first covert military operation under Trump’s leadership was a complete disaster. Navy Seal Chief Petty Officer, William “Ryan” Owens, lost his life during the firefight, as well as an eight-year-old American citizen. Fourteen Yemeni civilians died when the Yakla village was destroyed. And after a rough landing, American commandos were forced to destroy a $75 million MV-22 Osprey.
President Donald Trump’s first covert military action was a disaster by all accounts. One Navy SEAL, Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens lost his life in a ferocious firefight. Nawar “Nora” al-Alwaki, an eight-year-old American citizen, was shot in the neck and died. Fourteen more Yemeni civilians died at the hands of American commandos as the majority of Yakla village was obliterated. The commandos were forced to destroy a $75 million MV-22 Osprey after a rough landing.
Trump has hailed the mission as a “success,” but was it really? “Knowing that we killed an estimated 14 AQAP members and that we gathered an unbelievable amount of intelligence that will prevent the potential deaths or attacks on American soil – is something that I think most service members understand, that that’s why they joined the service.” said Sean Spicer, Trump’s press secretary.
In light of the undeniable losses, US military brass is starting to point fingers and pass blame. The responsibility lies with President Trump because it is his responsibility
Now, U.S. military officials are pointing fingers – and responsibility lies with President Trump as the Commander-in-Chief. It is ultimately his decision whether to put our military into combat and to assess the risk vs reward–because our people may pay with their lives.
Trump “approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations” according to Reuters. “As a result, three officials said, the attacking SEAL team found itself dropping onto a reinforced al Qaeda base defended by landmines, snipers, and a larger than expected contingent of heavily armed Islamist extremists. One of the three U.S. officials said on-the-ground surveillance of the compound was ‘minimal, at best.‘”
Now we know that this raid had been proposed before. President Obama refused to authorize it due to operational insufficiency. He was not comfortable putting our military in that risky position without the appropriate level of tactical information available on the target and defenses. Obama took the decision very seriously and understood the implications for not only our military but for the civilians living in that village. Trump apparently did not care.
So what did we gain at the expense of all those lives? A laptop and some documents. Donald Trump saw the potential to posture himself as a strong military leader on the world scene. Instead, he hastily approved a mission that had already been rejected by a President with much more experience than him and showed the world his immaturity and ignorance.