This was my thought-why does the president need to authorize what seems like common sense to everyone who has worn the uniform? He elaborates further-
To those in a moment, first, when I watched the press conference, what stood out in my mind were the repeated references to these three points:
1. The hostage was in imminent danger with an AK47 pointed at him
2. The hostage was in imminent danger with an AK47 pointed at him, and
3. The hostage was in imminent danger with an AK47 pointed at him.
I think my interpretation is that there's a legal counsel somewhere just outside the picture who placed an awfully restrictive ROE on the folks involved in this effort. Into exactly what ear he whispered this advice I have no idea. But even with highly skilled operators at the ready, the odds of having all three pirates on a covered lifeboat available for a ranged headshot from one pitching deck to another in less than optimum light made by passive snipers at the exact moment an AK47 is pointed at Captain Phillip's back must have seemed remote even to the most optimistic on-scene commander coordinating the delicate negotiations and hoping that a resort to violent gunplay wouldn't become necessary.I left a comment on his post and he expanded his thoughts to say what many soldiers are thinking, but no one wants to say-that the rescue was a stroke of luck.
I hope for all of our sake's that he is wrong about this, and President Obama gave the commanders on the scene whatever help he could do get it resolved. Because I'd hate to think that the Commander In Cheif values politics over the mission or the men.
As fellow Iraq vet Dave Thul asks in comments, "The ROE in Iraq gives every young private the authority to use deadly force to prevent death or serious bodily harm to civilians. Why did the President need to give specific authority to the CO of the Bainbridge to do the very same thing?"Because he (or an underling) wasn't authorizing - he was restricting. Thank God they had an Easter miracle and were smart enough not to call again. This situation was a classic goatf$%k. Kudos to everyone on the scene who made it turn out right. And kudos to the Admiral for ensuring no one on high could second guess the decision made on the other side of the world. At least it worked this time.