Navy SEALs Investigation: Another Sign of Obama Military Incompetence?


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These soldiers are flying in a Chinook helicopter similar to the one shot down in August 2011. Image courtesy of the U.S. Army

These soldiers are flying in a Chinook helicopter similar to the one shot down in August 2011. Image courtesy of the U.S. Army

Benghazi Scandal: Obama’s On-The-Spot Military Decisions Questioned

Even if the investigation finds no conspiracy, the helicopter crash is one of more example of what outspoken critics, such as Senator John McCain and Maureen Dowd, deem to be poor military decisions by Obama.

In the case of Benghazi, the administration has come under fire for initially claiming the attack was the spontaneous reaction of a mob to an anti-Islamic video.

However, the attack was actually carried out by a well-organized and heavily armed group of extremists. It was also later learned that U.S. diplomats in Libya had warned of the danger and repeatedly asked for additional security, but those requests were either ignored or denied.

Obama’s Long-Term Strategies

Beyond his ability to respond in times of crisis, critics have also taken Obama to task for failing to implement sound, long-term strategies.

In March 2013, Time Magazine questioned the decision to cut U.S. troops in Afghanistan from 66,000 to 34,000, a move that was made without input from some top officers involved in the conflict. At the same time the Time Magazine article was published, Foreign Policy magazine ran a long expose about how the administration had failed on the diplomacy front in Afghanistan.

Today, in the midst of a bloody conflict in Egypt, Obama is being criticized for failure to act decisively. More than half of those polled by the Pew Research Center in August 2013 say the President should cut off aid to Egypt in the wake of a military overthrow of the democratically elected president, just as claims emerge that the Obama administration has secretly cut off aid – claims denied by the administration.

Navy SEAL Team 6: Investigation Finally Moves Forward

While questions remain about the Obama administration’s overall ability to manage military matters, the families of those killed in the 2011 helicopter crash now have hope of closure. Charles Strange, father of Navy SEAL Michael Strange, said he was assured by Obama two years ago there would be an investigation into the incident. And now, there finally is.


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Cusack, Bob. Congress to probe lethal crash that killed SEAL Team 6 members. (2013). The Hill. Accessed August 20, 2013.

BBC News. US says Taliban who shot at US helicopter dead. (2011). Accessed August 20, 2013.

Rivera, Ray et al. Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among the Dead. (2011). New York Times. Accessed August 20, 2013.

Thompson, Mark. Decision-Making, Lite. (2013). Time Magazine. Accessed August 20, 2013.

Nasr, Vali. The Inside Story of How the White House Let Diplomacy Fail in Afghanistan. (2013). Foreign Policy. Accessed August 20, 2013.

Scarborough, Rowan. Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal; how the story of a U.S. tragedy unfolded – and then fell apart. (2013). The Washington Times. Accessed August 20, 2013.

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Public Backs Cutoff of Military Aid to Egypt. (2013). Accessed August 20, 2013.

Rogin, Josh. Senator: Obama Administration Secretly Suspended Military Aid to Egypt. (2013). Accessed August 20, 2013.

Fox News. Claim of Egypt aid cut-off fuels confusion over Obama policy. (2013). Accessed August 20, 2013.

Dougherty, J., Mount, Mike. Obama administration continues explanations on Benghazi decision-making. (2012). Accessed August 20, 2013.

Youngman Sam. McCain criticizes Afghanistan withdrawal date as ‘political decision’ by Obama. (2011). Accessed August 20, 2013.

Dowd, Maureen. When Myths Collide in the Capital. (2013). Accessed August 20, 2013.

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