This week’s raid against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has generated much press due to the loss of a U.S. Navy SEAL and multiple civilians. In terms of intelligence gathered it was a success. Beyond that, questions remain in regards to its authorization and most of all its review by President Trump. The problem is some press outlets purport that any blame should be placed on the planners and not on the executive that approved the plan. In short, this gives the president a pass while throwing the military under the bus.
The consensus appears to be not to politicize the raid. This is a sound position to take under normal circumstances. This administration is not normal and we are not in normal times. Intelligence was a key problem in the raid, and this president has already demonstrated a lack of interest in the intelligence community, and what they bring to the table. Make no mistake, operations such as this are inherently dangerous. The best plans can be made a shambles by synchronicity. However, with this administration and its disdain for protocol and hawkish nature missions like this may happen more often.
At the heart of the matter is President Trump’s fitness to lead. This is why the media and citizens alike should scrutinize the raid. Deciding to launch a raid of this level while having dinner with cronies is highly indicative of Trump’s cavalier attitude. The media should take note of these nuances. This man is in charge of the nuclear triad. He has a short temper, a huge ego and no regard for established procedures.
The Hill published an article (http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/foreign-policy/317566-misplaced-blame-on-trump-for-yemen-raid-ignores-deeper) claiming that blame is misplaced and will hurt military/civil relations. The article essentially shield Trump from any blame. Kennedy took responsibility for the Bay of Pigs and Eisenhower did the same with the U-2 incident. Such an admission if unthinkable for Trump. This sets an ominous precedent for the executive’s use of force. The raid should be scrutinized, and politicized. Lives hang in the balance. These are not normal times.