National Security

Trump’s First Military Raid Was a Total Disaster

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The first covert military operation carried out under Trump's watch was a complete disaster and "almost everything went wrong" according to an official quoted by NBC News.

A member of SEAL Team 6, an 8-year-old American citizen, and other civilians were killed during the raid in Yemen.

An MV-22 Osprey experienced a hard landing near the site, injuring several SEALs, one severely. The tilt-rotor aircraft had to be destroyed. A SEAL was killed during the firefight on the ground, as were some noncombatants, including females. [...]

The senior military official said the 8-year-old girl, Nawar al-Awlaki, also known as Nora, was among the noncombatants killed in the raid, which also resulted in the death of several Yemeni women. U.S. officials said some of the women who were killed, however, were combatants and had opened fire on the SEALs as they approached the al Qaeda camp.

That's the official story offered to NBC News, which is bad enough on its own, but the story shared by Nora's grandfather tells a different but not necessarily contradictory story.

According to the girl's grandfather, Nora was just one of a group of children that were killed in their home along with all of the women who were inside at the time. "Numerous" civilians were killed according to the official cited by NBC News, while local witnesses say as many as 59 were killed.

So what really happened? It's an open question, one that we may not have an answer for anytime soon.

The goal of the mission was to capture "computer equipment" which could mean anything from hard drives to cellphones. It's not clear, based on NBC's report, if they actually obtained anything.

The name al-Awlaki may sound familiar because, as you may recall, Anwar al-Awlaki was killed by the Obama administration in 2011. al-Awlaki's death was used by the likes of Glenn Greenwald and Code Pink to make all manner of wild accusations against the Obama administration. Some went so far as to claim President Obama may launch drone strikes against Americans at Starbucks coffee shops.

I'm not going to do that in this case because we just don't know enough about what happened yet, but it certainly doesn't look good. It's notable that the military's official story and the story of witnesses don't necessarily contradict each other. In both cases, they acknowledge that "numerous" civilians including women and at least one child were killed.

To be clear, this was not a"holdover mission" approved by President Obama according to NBC News. This was approved by the Trump regime.

It remains to be seen if the far-left in this country will make as big of a stink about this as they did six years ago. It remains to be seen if the fiercest critics of the drone program under President Obama will acknowledge that putting boots on the ground is just as if not more dangerous as more humans, and hence more opportunities for error, poor judgment and collateral damage, are introduced.

I suspect this will be the first of many botched operations and calamities that will leave people reminiscing about the steady hand of the Obama administration.

  • Badgerite

    I think this one was probably Flynn’s mistake as anything Flynn says to do, trump probably just signs off on. It isn’t as if the Orange Crisis knows up from down.
    And I think from the facts divulged and who divulged them, it is likely that the US military was set up. I suspect that Al Qaeda saw a chance to draw blood early, so they lured Flynn into this attack with….”alternate facts” …and he fell for it. I doubt there was any “computer” or other information at the site to get. There was probably just a full fledged ambush waiting for the Seal Team and they were. in all likelihood, lucky to lose one man as opposed to the whole unit. I think this operation was meant to be this administration’s calling card. A big PR coup. And it turned out just the opposite. Al Qaeda suckered Flynn. They killed one member of the Seal Team and they have the bloody corpses of a house full of women and at least one child to display as evidence of the Wests “true intentions” with respect to the Islamic world.
    And, of course, the Executive Order to Bans Muslim immigration.
    Valuable recruitment and PR tools. I can just see how this was done. Al Qaeda passed along ‘intelligence’ indicating there was a computer with so much inside information on it that it could cripple Al Qaeda and maybe some other affiliated terror groups as well. How could the group assembled by Hair Twitler resist. They were all set to show how much better they were at this intelligence stuff than that Kenyan Usurper who was bent on instituting Sharia law.

  • Badgerite

    So much “winning”, I’m bored. I miss humans in the White House.

  • muselet

    Intentional or not, [director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University, Karen] Greenberg said, the deaths of three al-Awlaki family members will enhance the al Qaeda narrative. She noted that as part of propaganda efforts, terrorist groups have begun to circulate photographs of children reputedly killed by U.S. forces. Photos of Nawar al-Awlaki alive and dead are already circulating widely in Arab media.

    It’s bad enough that this operation went pear-shaped almost from go, but the failure handed the bad guys a propaganda coup on a silver platter.

    It will be interesting to see if anyone (other than an occasionally-rude interenet commenter, that is) mentions Operation Eagle Claw in the context of this disaster. My five bucks says no, because the GOP is The Party Of National Security! and don’t you forget it. By morning, it’ll all be the fault of the black guy.


  • Christopher Foxx

    Gee, I wonder if we’ll see eight investigations into what actually happened. Because finding out what actually happened and making sure anyone who screwed up is held responsible is very, very important to Republicans. Right?

    Oh, wait.

    • Draxiar

      I’m sure any calls for investigations will be met with “undermining the president gives aid and comfort to our enemies and puts troops in harms way and rah-bah-bah…”.

  • I can’t wait until Trump refuses to go welcome any returning, fallen service folk because it would be boring and he doesn’t do that.

    • Nefercat

      Yes, and how dare they make him look bad? Losers!

      /s (I am only disrespecting cowardly draft-dodger trump here, not armed services personnel.)

    • Christopher Foxx

      and he doesn’t do that

      “I like people who didn’t get themselves killed,” said Trump.

    • Trump made the condolence call to the family of the Seal Team 6 guy that was killed. Ugh. Trump is incoherent; what an insult on top of a staggering loss.

      • ninjaf

        Oh, dear lord. Let’s hope that is one job he outsourced.

  • Aynwrong

    The media does seem to be treating this in a “kid gloves” kind of manner. I wonder if that’s because their too distracted by the rolling chaos of the “Moron in Chief’s” administration or because they know the moment they touch a story involving a fallen soldier all the usual assholes suspects on the right will be screaming treason at the top of their lungs now that a God damned Republican is in the White House.

    • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

      Right, I forgot that “don’t question the commander in chief in a time of war” only applies to Republicans.. and also that we’re in a permanent state of war. So, basically, it’s just that we’re not allowed to question Republican Presidents regarding anything national security related.

      • Aynwrong

        You got it! For Republicans, the concept and practice of patriotism is like a light switch.