Politics

Criticism Of Trump's Yemen Raid Is Entirely Warranted

| by Mark Jones

The U.S. raid in Yemen was a completely botched operation, and its disastrous outcome resulted in President Donald Trump receiving some harsh criticism for his decision to authorize it. Despite Gen. Joseph Votel's recent comments to the contrary, this criticism was, in fact, completely warranted.

Back in January, Trump authorized the Navy's SEAL Team 6 to conduct a raid of a small Yemen village where several members of al Qaeda were hiding, The New York Times reports. The raid's purpose was to collect intelligence. However, the mission went wrong and ended up turning into a firefight that lasted almost an hour. 

According to a statement made by Trump following the operation, the raid was "successful" because it resulted in the deaths of 14 members of al Qaeda and raid participants were able to gather valuable information, CNN reports. In addition, The Associated Press reports that on March 9, Votel -- the head of U.S. Central Command who was presiding over an internal review of the incident -- said that no poor decisions had been made in authorizing the raid. 

Trump and Votel are simply wrong. Given the sheer amount of destruction that occurred during the raid, there is no way that it should be referred to as a success. 

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The least troubling mishap that occurred during the raid was the destruction of a $75 million aircraft. In addition to the aircraft's destruction, six servicemen were injured. Lastly -- and most terribly -- Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens was killed. His marks the first U.S. combat death of the Trump administration.

Ryan's death was very sadly not the only one that occurred during the raid. According to the AP, somewhere between four and 12 civilians were also killed (the investigation is still ongoing). 

In the weeks following the event, Trump has received some well-deserved blowback for his decision to authorize the raid. Arguably the most notable criticism came from Owens' father. In an interview with the Miami Herald, he implored Trump not to use his son's death as an excuse to prevent an investigation. 

Trump has also received valid criticism from members of his own party.

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"Every military operation has objectives," Republican Sen. John McCain said in a statement, reports BuzzFeed News. "And while many of the objectives of the recent raid in Yemen were met, I would not describe any operation that results in the loss of American life as a success." 

McCain's point is entirely correct. The Yemen mission was not meant to be a combative one. No one should have died, let alone have been injured. Therefore, calling the mission a "success" is simply incorrect and disrespects all those who have suffered because of it. Therefore, Trump clearly deserves all of the criticism of the raid he has received thus far and all of the criticism that he should continue to receive in the future.

Click here for the opposing view on this topic.

Sources: The New York Times, CNN, AP, Miami Herald, BuzzFeed News / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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