Here’s Joe Biden at a fundraiser, engaged in an exquisite act of overstatement re: the bin Laden raid.
“You can go back 500 years. You cannot find a more audacious plan. Never knowing for certain. We never had more than a 48 percent probability that he was there.”
President Obama deserves credit, and has received plenty of it, for making the tough call to go into Pakistan and get bin Laden. But for Pete’s sake. . . . The operation was limited in scale and the main risks were political and diplomatic (as Biden well knows; he later asked the audience “Do any one of you have a doubt that if that raid failed that this guy would be a one-term president?”). In terms of strategic risk versus reward, is there a president who would not have signed the order for a coin flip chance to get bin Laden in exchange for the three thousandth American violation of Pakistani sovereignty over the last decade?
Arguably, Operation Desert Storm — with pre-invasion coalition casualties projected into the thousands and fears of a protracted maneuver war and the deployment chemical/biological weapons — was more audacious. Unarguably, the Inchon landing and the breakout of the Pusan perimeter were.
In World War II alone: Overlord. The British commando raids. The miracle at Dunkirk. Okinawa. Jimmy friggin Doolittle.
Five hundred years is a long time. From Patton to Napoleon, John Paul Jones to Sir Francis Drake. I’m sure all you history buffs out there can think of another battle plan at least in the running to be more audacious than Operation Geronimo.
Here’s my favorite: