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13th April
written by Sean Noble

Obama and the Navy are being praised for their actions to free American ship captain Richard Phillips.  Count me as one who joins the praise of Obama and the Navy and, most specifically, the Navy Seals who conducted the operation that freed Phillips.

I initially worried that Obama would mishandle this crisis the way Clinton did with the last run-in we had with Somali extremists when the lack of air support led to the deaths of 18 soldiers.  Those events became a book and a movie called “Black Hawk Down” and demonstrated the heroism of our Army Rangers and the ineptitude of the Clinton Administration when it came to an international crisis.

Obama made the right call – which was to essentially defer to the experts in the military – and passed his first major international crisis test.  I hope he keeps up this record.  Lives depend on it.

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  1. Wendy Rogers, Lt Col USAF (ret)

    Although I agree that the right decision was made and the outcome was obviously favorable, what still didn’t sit right with me (from an operational military standpoint) was that the trigger couldn’t be pulled without direct authorization from POTUS . . . which is flawed Clinton/LBJ-style down-in-the-weeds micro-management.

    As implied below, we had LAWYERS ultimately deciding on a military operation. Once forces are dispatched to an Area of Responsibility (AOR) and the Rules of Engagement (ROE) are established, that should be IT. Then it should be soley up to the on-scene commander’s discretion from there on out. “Obama’s involvement in the decision to authorize lethal force was legally required, officials said, because it was a hostage situation, not combat, and unrelated to the already authorized U.S. effort against Al Qaeda and other terror groups, officials said. “It’s not a combat operation, so the lawyers wanted to ensure this was done right,” said a second defense official.”

  2. 13/04/2009

    I am not sure if he passes a test. The Navy Commander already had authorization to use deadly force if they felt the Captain’s life was in danger. Obama’s approval was worded carefully as well to make sure that enough ambiguity existed to shift the blame to someone else if things went bad…

    NAVY & US SEALS= Heroes
    Obama= Epic Fail that got lucky

  3. 14/04/2009

    Very impressive, Sean! I know you’re not a big fan of much of the president’s actions. It’s admirable that you give credit when credit is due. I don’t always agree with your blog entries, but I’m always impressed.

  4. Ryan

    Kudos to Obama for … well … for not getting in the way, and letting the Navy do what they are trained to do.

    If anyone knows of a “buy a Navy SEAL dinner” program, sign me up. Those guys did their country proud this weekend.

  5. 15/04/2009

    Hold on — I need to pick my jaw up off the floor. Sean — some “noble” praise for Obama? I’m telling Rush!

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