Gen. Jerry Curry
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
In combat, when a commander discovers that some of his people are in trouble and about to be killed, he cobbles whatever forces he has together and launches a military effort to save them. He doesn’t wait for orders from the White House, the Pentagon or the State Department. Been there, done that. He doesn’t CYA by claiming that the “situational awareness” doesn’t provide him with a complete enough picture of what’s going on to enable him to act.
And he doesn’t study the problem ad infinitum trying to learn what all of the ramifications are. Rather, at every level, real combat commanders immediately go to the sound of the guns, assess the tactical situation at the point of military contact with the enemy, and then do whatever it takes to destroy the enemy and rescue his forces.
Everyone knew that the anniversary of 9-11 was coming up, so all of the US Forces in the middle-east should have been placed on alert. They should have planned for the worst, rehearsed their plans ad nauseum, and put their reaction forces on high alert.
The decision of the Obama Administration to deny our Ambassador and his team and staff’s urgent requests for help during the Benghazi attack on the US Embassy tells our allies, including Israel, that they too can expect to be denied American aid and military assistance if they are facing a life and death crisis.
It is not a question of the availability of military assets and resources, or whether our intelligence can be relied upon to completely fill in the blanks of the tactical situation. It is a question of whether the Administration has the will necessary to effectively use whatever forces and means are available to defeat the enemy and extract our people from a dangerous situation.
No matter what we do or how violently we throw our allies and Israel under the bus in our futile efforts to “normalize” relations with the Islamic world, we will never succeed. No matter how much we help Islamic countries or come to their aid in times of grave national crisis, we and the rest of the non-Islamic world will always be “Infidels” to them.
Many months ago when the United States first became involved with the so-called “Arab Spring” movement in Egypt, we didn’t have a clue as to what was really happening there and what political group would finally end up in control of the nation. But unlike as in Bengazhi, we got involved anyway and now we know that the extremist Arab Brotherhood is in charge. All our efforts to bring freedom and democracy to the middle-east crashed and burned in the streets of Cairo.
At least twice, in Benghazi, our US operators at the embassy were told to “stand down,” not to help the Ambassador and his team who were under deadly attack. Those operators knew that standing down was the wrong order to follow and so they ignored it and, responding to the Ambassador’s urgent requests for aid, went out and saved American lives, even though they forfeited their own lives in the process. I assume President Obama intends to posthumously award them medals for their heroism?
Through its handling of the Benghazi action the Obama Administration has made it clear that if you’re serving in a military or diplomatic post overseas or in an agency like the CIA, and if your life is threatened or you are at risk of being killed, or if you are about to be captured and are in need of rescue, you can expect no help from the Obama Administration. Therefore, our generals should prepare, on their own, to come to the rescue of the American troops under their command who are risking their lives for our country.
All we can expect from the Obama Administration are CYA actions and statements. That’s why in this instance CIA Director David Petraeus found it necessary to issue a statement saying: “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need.”
In short, Director Petraeus is saying, “Standing down may be the policy of this Administration but it’s not my policy nor the policy of the CIA, at least not as long as I’m Director.
From the heroic actions of the two CIA operatives in Benghazi, who saved American lives by ignoring orders and acting on their own, it is obvious that Petraeus should be setting policy and the Administration should be following his lead.
Image: “Marooned” by Howard Pyle (1853–1911); Delaware Art Museum; public domain
General Jerry Ralph Curry (Ret.)is a decorated combat veteran, Army Aviator, Paratrooper, Ranger and retired Army Major General. For nearly forty years he has served his country both in the military and as a Presidential political appointee, including for the Carter, Reagan & Bush 41 administrations.