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  #21  
Old 18 April 2009, 05:26 PM
KingDavid8 KingDavid8 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by DemonWolf View Post
I never met a SEAL, but I have met an Army Ranger. The impression that I got is that they don't care about why the decision was made, they just get their orders and do their best to carry them out.
I think the main complaint here is that authorities on the scene were making recommendations to Obama, and Obama was ignoring them, insisting on another course of action.

Of course, this guy criticizes Obama for lacking decisiveness, but I wouldn't say that insisting on a course of action and refusing to change it based on the recommendation of those on the scene is a good example of lacking decisiveness. If these allegations are true, the complaint here should be that he's too decisive, too unbending.

Personally, I see Obama as the most decisive president we've had since Reagan.

David
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  #22  
Old 18 April 2009, 05:31 PM
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AnglRdr AnglRdr is offline
 
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Originally Posted by KingDavid8 View Post
I think the main complaint here is that authorities on the scene were making recommendations to Obama, and Obama was ignoring them, insisting on another course of action.
Yes, but how would the SEALS in the OP have any idea of the recommendations made to the CinC? There's is no reason whatsoever for them to be privy to the conversations between generals and the president.
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  #23  
Old 18 April 2009, 07:14 PM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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People oversimplify things a lot. Assaulting a ship is at best an extremely risky:

* It is a big effing structure, almost the size of a small town or a large building complex. It will take time to search it, lots of time.
* There are hostages.
* There are multiple hostage takers.
* There is no protected ingress.
* There is no hidden ingress.
* Combat in the confined spaces of a ship is very nasty indeed, with a lot left to chance.

End result: If your snipers don't have a clear shot of all hostage takers at the same time, chances are that the hostages will be dead before you have troops there to rescue them. If the hostage takers have any brains at all, they keep a guy out of sight to guard the hostages, which basically makes a successful assault next to impossible. I would say that against a ruthless enemy, you have to calculate that less than 15 seconds before the hostages are dead. You simply can't clear a ship that fast.

The only reasonable way of handling it that isn't an almost guaranteed death sentence for the hostages is to handle it as a siege and negotiation scenario.

An assault works if you have either a small target area that can be cleared quickly or a secure, hidden ingress, so you can strike simultaneously all over the target area. Anything else and you lose initiative and people start dying.

I've played quite a few hostage scenarios in airsoft, and they are difficult, very, very difficult. If the hostage takers get time to react, there will be casualties. Of course, it's different when you only fire plastic pellets, but if anything, as far as I can see, the real thing can only be tougher. As far as tactics go, it's quite close to the real thing, especially in close quarters where the shorter range does not matter.
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  #24  
Old 18 April 2009, 11:27 PM
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CannonFodder CannonFodder is offline
 
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I've met a few SEALs in person, and I post frequently on a message board heavily populated by current and former NSW Sailors.

SEALs have opinions, just like anyone else. And they're usually not shy about expressing them. SEALs however are highly professional. I can't think of a superlative which is adequate to express how professional they are. They're really really professional.

In my opinion no SEAL currently serving would ever express his opinion about the politics of a specific operation to anyone not in his immediate circle. Professionalism. They don't talk out of school.

I haven't seen the President claim any particular credit for the rescue of Captain Phillips.

The whole thing (OP) smells like bullshit to me. What's the source? I'm pretty sure it's not Snopes himself.
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  #25  
Old 18 April 2009, 11:49 PM
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It is a big effing structure, almost the size of a small town or a large building complex. It will take time to search it, lots of time.
* There are hostages.
* There are multiple hostage takers.
* There is no protected ingress.
* There is no hidden ingress.
* Combat in the confined spaces of a ship is very nasty indeed, with a lot left to chance.
And these are the good things about trying to take back a ship. Not to mention there are thousands of places to hide, even from the crew, where it would be very difficult to find someone.

And CF, you are correct. They don't even discuss current operations with retired SEALs. I worked in NSW for a couple of years, directly with SEAL teams, and I still wasn't part of the inner circle because I didn't wear a trident. But they are a blast to work with.
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  #26  
Old 19 April 2009, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by CannonFodder View Post
What's the source? I'm pretty sure it's not Snopes himself.
It's just the latest e-mail that's hitting the inbox.
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  #27  
Old 19 April 2009, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
An assault works if you have either a small target area that can be cleared quickly or a secure, hidden ingress, so you can strike simultaneously all over the target area. Anything else and you lose initiative and people start dying.
This was a lifeboat not a ship. It was a small target area. They likely had both the hostage and all the hostage takers in view the entire time. These were not very bright hostage takers.
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  #28  
Old 19 April 2009, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by DemonWolf View Post
And the worst possible outcome is increased targeting of US flagged ships in retailliation. Not not an expert on naval tactics, but I'm pretty sure that the navy want to prevent a worst possible outcome.
And that's why it's unwise to negotiate and make piracy worth the risk. If you see a ship flagged by a country that doesn't negotiate, but eliminates risks as efficiently as possible you're going to move on to something else. The threats to retaliate are nothing more than a continuation of the extortion that's going on, and something we can't afford to give in to. It would be nice if we could simply fix the underlying problems in Somalia that have led large numbers of people to resort to piracy, but we can't. There are a number of reasons people have resorted to piracy off the Somali coast, but the bottom line is they are threatening us with violence. These are not rational people with whom we can negotiate a settlement.
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  #29  
Old 19 April 2009, 05:15 AM
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I was under the impression that the shipping company did not want a military solution unless they weren't able to negotiate or pay for the captain, since they did not want to escalate the violence in the already dangerous area.
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  #30  
Old 19 April 2009, 11:08 AM
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Why exactly is everyone worried about escalating the violence further? Piracy along the coast of the Horn of Africa has already reached a completely unacceptable level. Will military operations against the pirates deter all them? No. Will it damned sure deter at least some of them? Absolutely.

The concern being expressed seems almost to me like saying "Well, don't punch back against the school bully, he might hit you even harder"... as he's already punching you in the face.

As for the OP, I concur with both AnglRdr and CF. Likely complete bullshit. Even if the SEALs were privy to planning at that level (which, as AnglRdr points out, they probably would not be), there's no way they would discuss it outside of the proper venue. There are a LOT of armchair quarterbacks and wanna-bes out there on the internet who claim be be SEALs, know SEALs, etc. I'd wager that, ballpark, 98% of them are liars.

Quote:
I've played quite a few hostage scenarios in airsoft , and they are difficult, very, very difficult. If the hostage takers get time to react, there will be casualties. Of course, it's different when you only fire plastic pellets, but if anything, as far as I can see, the real thing can only be tougher. As far as tactics go, it's quite close to the real thing, especially in close quarters where the shorter range does not matter.
I'm sorry, I know I shouldn't even be mentioning this... but dude. Come on. Seriously.
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  #31  
Old 19 April 2009, 12:39 PM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Originally Posted by ASL View Post
This was a lifeboat not a ship. It was a small target area. They likely had both the hostage and all the hostage takers in view the entire time. These were not very bright hostage takers.
It's not only a matter of those hostages. Once word gets around, chances are that hostages on other ships may suffer.

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Originally Posted by DesertRat View Post
I'm sorry, I know I shouldn't even be mentioning this... but dude. Come on. Seriously.
Don't knock it until you've tried it. There's a reason professionals use airsoft weapons for training. Actually, there's two reasons, one being that they will not get killed during training, but the other reason is that, as long as you stay under, say, 50 m, they are pretty darn close to the real thing.
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  #32  
Old 19 April 2009, 02:13 PM
RichardM RichardM is offline
 
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Originally Posted by ASL View Post
This was a lifeboat not a ship. It was a small target area. They likely had both the hostage and all the hostage takers in view the entire time. These were not very bright hostage takers.
This was an enclosed lifeboat with a cabin to hide in. It looked to be very easy to stay out of sight in.
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  #33  
Old 19 April 2009, 02:31 PM
Zachary Fizz Zachary Fizz is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
Don't knock it until you've tried it. There's a reason professionals use airsoft weapons for training. Actually, there's two reasons, one being that they will not get killed during training, but the other reason is that, as long as you stay under, say, 50 m, they are pretty darn close to the real thing.
Which professionals, Troberg?

Regarding the OP, did anyone else read the first five or so words before they could guess the general theme of the post? There's a certain style to these "tough old soldier reveals how cowardly the pols are" memes.
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  #34  
Old 19 April 2009, 02:38 PM
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Sylvanz Sylvanz is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Zachary Fizz View Post
Regarding the OP, did anyone else read the first five or so words before they could guess the general theme of the post? There's a certain style to these "tough old soldier reveals how cowardly the pols are" memes.
The second I read this I knew what the tone was going to be.
Quote:
BHO
P&LL, Syl
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  #35  
Old 19 April 2009, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by DesertRat View Post
Why exactly is everyone worried about escalating the violence further? Piracy along the coast of the Horn of Africa has already reached a completely unacceptable level. Will military operations against the pirates deter all them? No. Will it damned sure deter at least some of them? Absolutely.

The concern being expressed seems almost to me like saying "Well, don't punch back against the school bully, he might hit you even harder"... as he's already punching you in the face.
I don't think that is the analogy at all. It is more like not having your dad come in and beat up the bully because he's getting tired of the way that he's treating you. The shipping companies didn't want the violence to escalate, because they are trying to find a way to continue to do business in the region, and it's not just American ships out there, and American citizens aren't just working on American ships. In many ways this isn't any different than kidnapping and extortion gangs in South America, and we don't send Army Rangers in for that either. Because it just gets hostages killed once the kidnappers know they aren't going to get a ransom.
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  #36  
Old 19 April 2009, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by rhiandmoi View Post
I don't think that is the analogy at all. It is more like not having your dad come in and beat up the bully because he's getting tired of the way that he's treating you. The shipping companies didn't want the violence to escalate, because they are trying to find a way to continue to do business in the region, and it's not just American ships out there, and American citizens aren't just working on American ships. In many ways this isn't any different than kidnapping and extortion gangs in South America, and we don't send Army Rangers in for that either. Because it just gets hostages killed once the kidnappers know they aren't going to get a ransom.
Thats why the shipping companies don't want their crews armed. Its just going to make the pirates more likely to be better armed and more likely to take more aggressive action and be more trigger happy. They don't want that, it makes hiring people that much harder if word gets out that your likely to be shot. The shipping companies are just trying to conduct legitimate business, they don't want to be in the business of making their employees become trained killers. They are more of a liability that way.
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  #37  
Old 19 April 2009, 05:36 PM
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ASL ASL is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhiandmoi View Post
I don't think that is the analogy at all. It is more like not having your dad come in and beat up the bully because he's getting tired of the way that he's treating you. The shipping companies didn't want the violence to escalate, because they are trying to find a way to continue to do business in the region, and it's not just American ships out there, and American citizens aren't just working on American ships. In many ways this isn't any different than kidnapping and extortion gangs in South America, and we don't send Army Rangers in for that either. Because it just gets hostages killed once the kidnappers know they aren't going to get a ransom.
Who cares what the shipping companies want? They do not dictate US foreign policy, nor should they. I would have thought we could all agree that, at the very least, it is a bad day for the country when corporate interests dictate US policy. I know, I know, some of you think this is already the case, in which case you should especially be glad. These arguments against the use of lethal force in the face of opponents (criminals, mind you) with a lethal force capability of their own are truly baffling to me.

Also, the kidnapping analogy doesn't apply: even then the kidnappers still hope for a ransom because they are the only ones who know the victim is dead or at the very least are able to kill the victim in private out of range of authorities. In these cases we would either know the hostages are dead as soon as the pirates left without them or know exactly where the pirates are because they'd have to stay on the hijacked ship to prevent us from finding the bodies. In that case, there would be no escape for them and no profit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post
Thats why the shipping companies don't want their crews armed. Its just going to make the pirates more likely to be better armed and more likely to take more aggressive action and be more trigger happy.
Let's make one thing clear. A large merchant ship like the Maersk Alabama is WORTHLESS to a pirate. In fact, it's worth even less than nothing. There's nowhere they can take it to offload it and sell the goods or the ship without sticking out like a soar thumb. They either take hostages, or they get stuck with less than nothing. The best they could hope for is to off load what little goods they can into the small boat they road out on and run for cover before the cavalry arrives. If the crew is killed, there’s no reason not to bomb the shit out of the ship they hijacked (because, again, shipping companies don't dictate government policy). If they do take hostages, then nothing has changed...
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  #38  
Old 19 April 2009, 06:03 PM
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AnglRdr AnglRdr is offline
 
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Originally Posted by ASL View Post
Who cares what the shipping companies want? They do not dictate US foreign policy, nor should they.
Nor do shipping companies carry out US foreign policy.

Quote:
I would have thought we could all agree that, at the very least, it is a bad day for the country when corporate interests dictate US policy.
I think it's probably just as bad for the US to use corporations to carry out foreign policy interests.
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  #39  
Old 19 April 2009, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by AnglRdr View Post
Nor do shipping companies carry out US foreign policy.


I think it's probably just as bad for the US to use corporations to carry out foreign policy interests.
Did I say I think the US should force merchants to arm themselves???
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  #40  
Old 19 April 2009, 06:10 PM
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AnglRdr AnglRdr is offline
 
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Originally Posted by ASL View Post
Did I say I think the US should force merchants to arm themselves???
Uh...no.

Of course, I didn't say that you did, right???????????
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