The rescue of Capt. Phillips is exhibit A for why Special Forces, Army Rangers, and Navy Seals are critically important to any national security strategy going forward. It became apparent after President Obama twice authorized the use of force against the Somali thugs so we could take them out and rescue the captain.
This opener from how they did it is a classic: The operation to rescue Capt. Richard Phillips involved dozens of Navy SEALs, parachuted from an aircraft into the scene near dark Saturday.
Now let’s go to an expert :
No, an average platoon of Marines or Army light infantry does not have the capabilities or the training to carry out the missions executed by Army Rangers, Navy SEALs, and other SOF (to include the SMUs). That’s okay. Because in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the so-called “general purpose” forces are the ones responsible for carrying out the main effort. But parachuting into the middle of the Indian Ocean, swimming to the USS Bainbridge and then shooting three pirates from a boat that is rocking up and down and side to side is pretty effing difficult. If this operation to rescue Richard Phillips isn’t the damn poster child for why we need special operations forces — and why it’s important that those forces are able to work in tandem with normal U.S. Navy and U.S. Army forces — I don’t know what is.
Agitated, with no promise of money or anything, one pirate gave himself up using a hand wound as poor cover. Then things moved a step further.
Soon afterward, two pirates moved to one of the hatches of the lifeboat and stuck their heads out. The third pirate advanced toward the captain and pointed his AK-47 straight at Phillips’s back, the rifle touching it or inches away, the official said.
U.S. military observers thought that Phillips was about to be shot. SEAL snipers, who were positioned on a deck at the stern of the Bainbridge, an area known as the fantail, had the three pirates in their sights. The on-scene commander gave the snipers authority to fire.
“As soon as the snipers had a clear shot at the guy who had the rifle, they shot him and the other two in the hatches,” the senior military official said.
Obama got his first military challenge on whether to authorize force that came with great risks. That’s why the Navy Seals were employed, with their snipers made ready. When you need a stealth mission you don’t send in a conventional forces to get the job done. However, you do need some conventional support to pull it off. Glory can be shared, but the elite fighting forces we have, especially in today’s asymmetrical threat world, deserve a lot more focus and financing than many want to give, with most of the criticism something I do not understand.
Hats off to the Navy Seals today. To the U.S. Navy. But also to our commander in chief Barack Obama who got the job done by authorizing the use of force and the right tactical team required for the job, which took our armed forces knowing what that was when the moment came.
The good guys won this one. …and in case you think this is easy, just read the story of the French mission that went terribly wrong this weekend, which had ransom paid is the plot.
Good win for the good guys.
Wingnut radio will be ablaze today, so pop your popcorn early.