When a college professor told me that the most distraught and messy country in the Middle East is Yemen, I was confused as to why no one was talking about it. But since the highly controversial raid in Yemen this January, it is all anyone can focus on.
In Jan. 2017, with the push of senior defense advisers, President Donald Trump approved a raid in Yemen that resulted in the death of Navy SEAL Chief Special Warfare Officer William "Ryan" Owens, as well as a dozen civilians, including an 8-year-old American girl.
Despite this recent news, it is not necessarily common knowledge that former President Barack Obama had been illegally partaking in the war in Yemen, specifically funding the Houthi Saudis fighting Yemenites. And while both Trump and his opposition, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, got away with not addressing this throughout their campaigns, as The Huffington Post reported, it would have been highly criticized no matter who was in office.
Trump is by no means uncontroversial. He shows poor taste in his choice of words, has no legitimate government experience, has signed probably the most criticized executive orders of all time, and his pick for Secretary of Education makes you question his level of schooling. But this Yemen fiasco was far beyond his control.
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While he may be the person who gets to give the "OKs" when it comes to actions of war, he is not solely responsible for the lives lost and the failure of missions.
The New York Times explains that, while Trump did agree with the Yemen raid, several senior advisers and military officers had created and approved it. One of those people would be Defense Secretary James Mattis.
Many Democrats sighed with relief upon Mattis' appointment, as he has spoken out against the use of torture and does not support Trump's ideas of dismissing the Iran deal, according to USA Today.
Mattis and other professional, strategic and experienced military leaders had created this plan with great intention and hopes.
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Trump only gave the final nod.
Gen. Joseph Votel, United States' Top Commander, has confirmed results of the multiple investigations revolving around the deadly raid.
Votel concluded that the raid was made with competency and good judgment, and that this mission did result in gaining vital information, according to The Associated Press.
But still, disregard for our troops and their knowledge has prevailed.
Andrew Exum, a reporter from The Atlantic, said it best: " Americans have to allow those men and women [our troops] to be aggressive, to take risks, and to, on occasion, fall short. And we cannot immediately blame the president if and when they do."
Americans must not give our president so much credit -- for either the good or the bad.
Likewise, former President Barack Obama is not solely responsible for the death of Osama Bin Laden. It was the success of military leaders and troops, and they deserve that same credit.
And, as uncomfortable as it may be to hear, Trump is not solely responsible for the deaths in the Yemen raid. Sometimes, our military leaders and troops make mistakes, too, and that's OK.