White House admits US participation in failed French raid

| January 14, 2013

You may or may not have heard about the disastrous raid in Somalia which resulted in the death of the spy French commandos attempted to rescue, Denis Allex, and a missing French soldier. On the upside, 17 Islamists were sent to Allah. But yesterday, the Obama Administration, for some strange reason, decided that they should admit to the participation of US force air assets over the operation, though they fired no shots, says the Washington Post;

Obama said the U.S. warplanes “briefly” entered Somali airspace but did not open fire and departed Somalia by 8 p.m. Friday, Washington time. He said he approved the mission but gave no other details.

A U.S. defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the operation, said the combat aircraft were based at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, a small country on Somalia’s northwestern border.

The U.S. military has based a growing number of armed Predator drones as well as F-15 fighter jets at Camp Lemonnier, which has grown into a key installation for secret counterterrorism operations in Somalia and Yemen. The defense official declined to identify the aircraft used in the rescue attempt but said they were fighter jets, not drones.

I guess this was another opportunity for the President to present his “war president” image without having to take any of the responsibility for the failed mission. Of course, the failure of the operation doesn’t give the other seven French hostages held by Islamists little hope for their release. I think if we’re going to be giving support to the French in this regard, we should be giving them more than air support since they have little experience in these operations.

Category: Barack Obama/Joe Biden, Terror War

Comments (27)

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  1. Adirondack Patriot says:

    Obama has a irresistable impulse to associate the U.S. military with failure. He and his anti-military minions can’t help themselves.

    It used to be that success had many fathers while failure was an orphan. Today , Obama wants the USA to be a foster parent for France’s failure.

  2. UpNorth says:

    Well, Da Won had the AF fly over the activity, and observe? Or, were they there to knock down the Somali Air Force? Or, were the fighters the F-15E, and he couldn’t force himself to give the go-ahead for them to do anything?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sure, it could be he’s trying to cultivate a ‘war president’ image even though he’s in his second term and the country seems eerily tuned out of war. Or, maybe, it’s because by law he’s supposed to report such things to Congress, and that’s how this happened – in a letter to Congress, not a press report.

    Why this and not other things? Probably because it’s a closed operation; no US assets are at risk, there is no continuance from here.

    Regardless, my thoughts are with the French – their security services do some great work, and they deserve better than this result.

  4. ohio says:

    To paraphrase Shakespeare “the empty vessel makes the loudest noise”.

  5. melle1228 says:

    >>>Or, maybe, it’s because by law he’s supposed to report such things to Congress, and that’s how this happened – in a letter to Congress, not a press report.>>>

    Yeah because his administration is so good at actually reporting to Congress what they are supposed to support. I mean they haven’t spent months and year obstructing the investigation on Fast and Furious and Benghazi.

    Anytime the admin offers inside information- makes me suspicious..

  6. Chip@NASA says:

    In before the obligatory:
    “Of *course* the mission failed….they’re FRENCH!”

  7. USMCSgt says:

    The administration did the same thing when we began intervention in the Libyan Civil War. Oh wait….

  8. Anonymous says:

    @5 That’s somewhat fair – I don’t think the Obama administration follows the law simply because it’s the law. I just find the notion that he’s courting a ‘war president’ image pretty unconvincing, and it’s far more likely that since there’s no downside here they figured, what the hell, might as well do what we’re supposed to this time.

  9. rb325th says:

    If only they would be so transparent about Fast and Furious and Benghazi….

  10. TrapperFrank says:

    I am reminded of what the late, great Norman Schwartzkopf had to say, “Going to war without the French is like going hunting without an accordian.”

  11. dnice says:

    Would it be far to say that the Administration wants a bigger footprint in Africa (well as compared to the Mideast)?

    Anyway, you know sometimes the Administration is just a tease. I guess they did it for a bit in ‘Stan but it seems they approach things almost 1/2 heartedly becuase they want to play it safe.

    It seems like we are dabbling in Africa. I guess we wouldn’t publicize if we are but I hope we are fully committed to winning (eradicating terrorist groups there).

  12. NHSparky says:

    @11–given the increased involvement in CAR, Egypt, Libya, etc., I’d say we’re more than involved enough.

    Then again, it’s just a matter of time with the ROE they’re probably operating under until an “incident” involving our troops occurs and Obama will profusely apologize as a result.

  13. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    Geez, you surrender once after fighting an all out battle for six whole weeks and the entire world has a negative perception forever….

  14. Jonn Lilyea says:

    I don’t know, VOV, it might also have something to do with the French being surprised every time the Germans invaded them successfully through the Argonne – four times in 60 years.

  15. Green Thumb says:

    How come the French hate plastic?

    Because you can make Soldiers out of plastic.

  16. NHSparky says:

    That and the idea of a static defense has been a bad idea since, well, EVER.

  17. Common Sense says:

    @11 – My son’s Air Guard unit (200 people) returned from Africa last week. No secret, it was reported in the local news.

    When he first told me, I did wonder if we were escalating operations there.

  18. Twist says:

    The elderly American gentleman arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he fumbled for his passport.

    “You ‘ave been to France before, monsieur?” the customs officer asked sarcastically. The old gent admitted that he had been to France previously.

    “Zen, you should know enough to ‘ave your passport ready for inspection.”

    The American said, “The last time I was here, I didn’t have to show it.”

    “Impossible. You Americans alwayz ‘ave to show your passports on arrival in France!”

    The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained.

    “Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in ’44, I couldn’t find any Frenchmen to show it to.”

  19. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    @14 — Well there’s that, and the whole idea that one their best units is the “Foreign” Legion….also I think Schwarzkopf came up with his opinion based on the usefulness (or lack thereof) of the French Fighter Aircraft in the first Gulf War…

  20. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    @18 Reminds me of the old VFW joke about paratroopers….all these young guys sitting around talking about how many jumps they’ve made…one guy says 25 another says 50, another says 100…they then ask the old guy how many he’s made to which he replies just 4…..they all laugh and say Just 4? The old guy says yep, North Africa, Sicily, Normandy, Holland….that’s it just those 4…

  21. David says:

    Have to laugh at the folks who bitch about the French… they were one of our staunchest allies for over 200 years, got crapped on for not supporting wars WE did not even totally support – yeah, they aren’t the greatest troops on the block but on average, are they really much worse than the average drafted Joe Snuffy? Bear in mind this is an entire country with about as many people as California and Texas combined that has been crippled by Eurosocialism for decades. Looking at the Islamists in northern Africa, sure looks like they are carrying the water for the rest of the world’s armies there. At least have the courtesy to be objective.

  22. NHSparky says:

    David–yep, they’ve stood behind us for a long time…

  23. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @21. “At least have the courtesy to be objective.” Okay, I conducted a survey and 9 out of 10 respondents indicated that the French suck.

  24. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @21. 1″they aren’t the greatest troops on the block but on average, are they really much worse than the average drafted Joe Snuffy?” Yeah, that’s objective right there. The fact that is pisses me off beyond words isn’t. Damn frog.

  25. NHSparky says:

    @21–“Son, there ain’t no draft no more…”

  26. Richard says:

    So he can authorise planes going into Somali airspace to help out the French, but he won’t allow forces to help his own people in a firefight in Benghazi. What a douche. Hope he burns in hell.