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India—Pakistan border skirmishes — The official mission code name was Operation Neptune Spear. Navy's Special Warfare insigniawith the three prongs of the trident representing the operational capacity of SEALs on sea, air and land.
Objective The Associated Press reported at the time two U. Brennan said after the raid: Obviously under the rules of engagementif he in fact had thrown up his hands, surrendered and didn't appear to be representing any kind of threat, then they were to capture him.
But, they had full authority to kill him. McRaven said a commando raid would be fairly straightforward but he was concerned about the Pakistani response. He assigned a captain from the U. They also considered a joint operation with Pakistani forces.
Obama decided that the Pakistani government and military could not be trusted to maintain operational security for the operation against bin Laden.
For that reason he ruled out involving the Pakistanis. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other military officials expressed doubts as to whether bin Laden was in the compound, and whether a commando raid was worth the risk.
At the end of the meeting, the president seemed to be leaning toward a bombing mission. Air Force officers were tasked with exploring that option further. Estimates were that up to a dozen civilians would be killed in addition to those in the compound. Furthermore, it was unlikely there would be enough evidence remaining to prove that bin Laden was dead.
Presented with this information at the next Security Council meeting on March 29, Obama put the bombing plan on hold. Instead he directed Admiral McRaven to develop the plan for a helicopter raid.
Red Squadron was coming home from Afghanistan and could be redirected without attracting attention. The team had language skills and experience with cross-border operations into Pakistan. The Nevada mock-up used chain-link fences to simulate the compound walls, which left the U.
The helicopters to be used in the raid had been designed to be quiet and to have low radar visibility. He was worried that the plan for dealing with the Pakistanis was too uncertain, Obama asked Admiral McRaven to equip the team to fight its way out if necessary.
To bolster the "fight your way out" scenario, Chinook helicopters with additional troops would be positioned nearby. Most of the advisers in the meeting supported going forward with the raid.
Only Vice President Biden completely opposed it. Gates advocated using the drone missile option, but changed his support the next day to the helicopter raid plan. Obama said he wanted to speak directly to Admiral McRaven before he gave the order to proceed. The president asked if McRaven had learned anything since arriving in Afghanistan that caused him to lose confidence in the mission.
McRaven told him the team was ready and that the next few nights would have little moonlight over Abbottabad, good conditions for a raid.
EDT Obama conferred with his advisers and gave the final go-ahead. The raid would take place the following day.
That evening the president was informed that the operation would be delayed one day due to cloudy weather.The Associated Press delivers in-depth coverage on today's Big Story including top stories, international, politics, lifestyle, business, entertainment, and more.
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