The OBL Raid: How It Could Have Gone FUBAR

Phillip Padilla is a good friend and fellow lover of lolcats and science fiction. He’s got a great new piece at Slate co-authored with Daniel Byman on the risks and rewards of authorizing special ops raids.

A preview of his red-team analysis:

Like clockwork, the SEALs “stacked” at the main house’s doors prepared to enter the building to find their ultimate target. But they had miscalculated the strength of the building’s reinforced doors, costing them precious time, presenting the enemy hiding inside with an opportunity. Grenades flew through the house’s windows, peppering much of the strike team with shrapnel. …After seconds that seemed like hours, the door-breachers broke through. The lead team members burst into the building but quickly realized that the house had been rigged with explosives. Tell-tale signs of a house-borne IED were everywhere: copper wires hugged the walls, leading to several plastic jugs filled with explosives. Before the strike team could pull out, the home exploded, burying several people under its rubble.

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