Lessons from the raid on ISIS



November 4, 2019 - 9:46 AM

There is much to say about the raid that killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and even more to learn.

Begin with congratulations to the unknown military and intelligence personnel who pulled it off. The skill and bravery of the planners and the troops on the ground were essential to the success of the mission. It was extremely risky, like the surprise attack in 2011 that resulted in the death of Sept. 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. The eight helicopters faced gunfire on their way to al-Baghdadi’s compound in northern Syria. And President Donald Trump was right to prioritize the pursuit of the murderous al-Baghdadi. His extreme brutality in beheading captives and setting others on fire, all captured on video, was an effective recruiting tool for jihadists to join his caliphate and a stark warning to Western powers.

But while the world can find relief in his demise, we all must understand the many lessons that emerged from the raid.

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