Tuesday, May 3, 2011
At this time hundreds of thousands of U.S. and allied military men and women are giving thanks they have lived to see this day. The death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of our courageous fighting men adds meaning to the sacrifice of so many on dusty, distant battlefields, at military outposts, depots and staging areas far from home, and on the home front of what has become a long, drawn out war.
In time we will learn the details of what was obviously a classic raid. At this time anything said or written claiming detailed knowledge of the operation that terminated the world's most wanted terrorist is pure conjecture. We don't even know for sure who pulled off this operation - SEAL Team Six got the credit, but as a part of JSOC - the shadowy Joint Special Operations Command - it is inconceivable they did it alone. The support apparatus for such a complex mission is huge; special operations aviation assets are not organic to SEAL units, for example. Doctrinally, the 75th Ranger Regiment would provide outer perimeter security; communications, tac-air support, reconnaissance and sniper overwatch could be provided by a host of JSOC assets.
To discuss the planning involved would fill a field manual; basically two types of planning occurred from the moment bin Laden's presence in the compound was suspected and confirmed, and warning orders issued to the assault force; deliberate and contingency. Deliberate planning is the long term, carefully detailed plan that we assume was carried out. Contingency planning is the stand-by plan in case conditions at the objective - in this case the Osama compound - suddenly altered; preparations for movement, or the arrival of significant enemy forces into the battlespace.
In creating a plan, the one-thirds/two-thirds rule is employed; one third of time and assets are dedicated to actual actions on the objective - two-thirds to planning, rehearsals, getting in and getting out - infil and exfil - the most difficult and resource-intensive aspect of any mission. Critical decision points include contingency plans for if helicopters go down; how many birds can be lost before the mission is no longer 'do-able'? The mission to rescue the American embassy personnel in the Iran Hostage Crisis of 1979 was aborted at Desert One because mission abort criteria had been met. Point of No Return takes into consideration how far from the objective can a team still carry on their mission - on foot - if a bird goes down enroute?
Other significant considerations involve the presence of non-combatants on the objective, - or encountered enroute to the objective - and an altered Rules of Engagement regarding the High Value Target (HVT); i.e. Osama bin Laden. This was obviously a take-no-prisoners mission, but considerations would also have been made for any enemies who survived the initial assault.
The way the rules work is as long as you're assaulting across the objective - from the Line of Departure to the Limit of Advance - anyone and anything identified as an enemy combatant within the kill zone can be engaged - i.e. shot and killed. It's when you go back to with the prisoner search teams that individual shots to the head are frowned upon. If Osama had thrown up his hands in the right time, place and manner, it is possible that he might have been taken alive.
Possible, but not probable.
There's something very primitive about a raid. Speed, surprise, and violence of action epitomize a successful raid. The assault would have been heralded by a massive breaching charge. Tac air may have been used as a diversion; a two-hundred pound Mk 82 general purpose aviation bomb goes off on the far side of the compound "HOLY SHI'ITE MUSLIM, WHAT WAS THAT?" - and then WHAM! and the assaulters are suddenly pouring in through the front door, moving at a careful hurry to their points of domination and performing their priorities of work; secure the room, eliminate threats - two rounds center mass each, and one to the head - secure the living, search the dead.
"War is simple, direct and ruthless." - George S. Patton
Who can possibly know what was going through the mind of the man who pulled the trigger on bin Laden? Only that man will ever know exactly what he felt the moment he realized he had his muzzle on the world's most evil human alive. Osama took two rounds to the pumpkin, which tells us combat occured at pointblank range. One thing I guarantee our man was thinking on the way in was the only way out of that place was to fight his way through it. Then adrenalin kicked in and took care of everything else after that. His comrades, the same.
Now the endless analysis from the press corps; how we could've, should've, would've done this, that and the other thing. Right now it's my dime so I'll indulge a little here and tell you what we should've done that we didn't do:
We should've put Osama's body on display, just like we did with Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi - a.k.a. the Zarkman - dead leader of Al-Qaeda In Iraq, and with those two pieces of human scum Uday and Qusay Hussein. The war we are engaged in involves heavy symbolism, and significant value is gained by dehumanizing the enemy, cutting the enemy's leadership down to size. This is why we televised Saddam Hussein's medical exam, and released pictures of the Butcher of Baghdad in his underwear; this busts the legend down to size. The best thing we could have done for the Iraqi people's liberation was hand Saddam over - which we did - and the best thing after that is they released pictures of him swinging on a rope.
The next thing we need to do after showing the pictures is to follow up on the actionable intelligence gained in the raid, and start rolling up terrorist cells one by one. We need to stack up terrorist bodies like cordwood, and those who have the bad luck to get captured alive we need to salt away in Guantanamo for the rest of their miserable lives. The message needs to get out on the Arab Street: there ain't no death and glory in Jihad. Only death.
MESSAGE TO JIHADIS:
Your glorious leader is now fish food, at the bottom of the deep blue sea.
Your Allah may forgive Osama bin Laden; everybody knows it was United States Special Operations who arranged the meeting.
SEAN LINNANE SENDS
. . . and because this blog is for Crusaders and Infidels, today's Bird is HERE