The ill-prepared Yemen raid approved by Donald Trump last month, which left U.S. Navy SEAL Ryan Owens and as many as 30 civilians dead, did not yield any valuable intelligence, according to a new NBC News report.
More from NBC News:
Last month’s deadly commando raid in Yemen, which cost the lives of a U.S. Navy SEAL and a number of children, has so far yielded no significant intelligence, U.S. officials told NBC News.
Although Pentagon officials have said the raid produced “actionable intelligence,” senior officials who spoke to NBC News said they were unaware of any, even as the father of the dead SEAL questioned the premise of the raid in an interview with the Miami Herald published Sunday.
A senior Congressional official briefed on the matter said the Trump administration has yet to explain what prompted the rare use of American ground troops in Yemen, but he said he was not aware of any new threat from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the al Qaeda affiliate that was targeted.
Plans for the raid were begun during the Obama administration, but Obama officials declined to sign off on what officials described as a significant escalation in Yemen. Just five days in, Trump greenlighted the mission.
The report comes after the fallen SEAL’s father, Bill Owens, slammed Trump for greenlighting the mission less than a week after taking office.
“Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn’t even barely a week into his administration? Why?” Owens asked in an interview with the Miami Herald. “For two years prior, there were no boots on the ground in Yemen — everything was missiles and drones — because there was not a target worth one American life. Now, all of a sudden we had to make this grand display?”
The father of the fallen SEAL is now demanding an investigation into the raid, while the Trump administration’s position on the operation is that it was a “huge success.”
It’s heartbreaking when any American hero, like Ryan Owens, is killed on the battlefield. But it’s even more devastating when the mission given to him by the commander-in-chief wasn’t properly planned and produced no meaningful intelligence for the United States.
More and more, the botched raid looks like it was a chance for Trump to quickly prove his military toughness, not a smart strategic move to take out American enemies and gather intelligence while being mindful of the risks.
Losing a U.S. service member under any circumstance is difficult to bear, but it’s even harder to swallow when it was the result of a rash decision by an incompetent and unfit president.