Friday, March 10, 2017

General Votel mothballs the false narrative about the Yemen raid

On balance, it was a success:

Are we finally seeing the end of the media debate over the “botched” special forces raid in Yemen? Unless you were hiding under a rock you surely heard about this one. Navy SEALs launched an attack on an Al Qaeda stronghold which resulted in the death of one Navy SEAL, injuries to several others and significant damage to one of the aircraft used in the raid. After word leaked out, two conflicting narratives immediately emerged. NBC News was quick to declare the operation a failure, saying that it produced no significant gains in either gathering intelligence or taking out high-value targets. Shortly thereafter, other reports indicated that the opposite was true.
Now we finally have input from somebody who should know. Gen. Joseph Votel testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee and said that while the experience definitely provided many lessons which they will take forward, there was no fault to be found and the operation was a highly productive one. (Associated Press)
The top U.S. commander for the Middle East told senators Thursday that he has completed an exhaustive review of the Yemen raid that killed a Navy SEAL, and has concluded there were no lapses in judgment or decision-making surrounding the operation.
Gen. Joseph Votel, who heads U.S. Central Command, said he sees no need for additional investigations into the January mission that triggered debate in Washington over what went wrong and whether important intelligence was actually gathered. It was the first military raid authorized by President Donald Trump…
Votel, who presided over an internal review, said he was “looking for information gaps where we can’t explain what happened in a particular situation or we have conflicting information between members of the organization. I am looking for indicators of incompetence or poor decision making or bad judgment throughout all this.”
In the end, he said, “I was satisfied that none of those indicators that I identified to you were present. I think we had a good understanding of exactly what happened on this objective and we’ve been able to pull lessons learned out of that, that we will apply in future operations.” He said there was no need for an additional investigation.
Votel added that he believes the U.S. gained valuable information on al-Qaida militants.
There was definitely a “debacle” taking place here, but it wasn’t in the form of the conduct of our special forces or the planning of the operation. The true collapse which took place was on the part of either the media or malcontents inside the government seeking to undermine the Trump administration. (Though at this point I would put my money on a combination of the two.) We have zero reason to doubt the testimony of the general and even the most partisan among us should have approached the story with a more gentle hand. The planning of this operation began months before Barack Obama left office, but the final approval was given by President Trump so the responsibility lies on his shoulders for better or worse. Still, this was something which evolved over a span of time encompassing both administrations.

Lesson going forward: If you're going to get your news from a "M"SM source like NBC, have your filter engaged.

And America was right to give Carynn Owens a standing ovation on behalf of her patriot husband.

No comments:

Post a Comment