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Unsuccessful rescue?

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Unsuccessful rescue?

Old 12th Oct 2010, 11:23
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Unsuccessful rescue?

These's a bit of unrest about the unfortunate death of aid worker Linda Norgrove in Afghanistan Linda Norgrove: US handling of bungled rescue raises concern - Telegraph

Everyone seems to think that a resuce was a done deal without any risk. If it turns out that she was killed by one of the US soldier there will a big deal made about it and particularly about how gung-ho the Americans are. Whilst that may be true, they went in there for the right reasons and attempted to the most professional job they could do. Its just unfortunate the result ended the way it did. The press won't mention that they put their own lives on the line or how difficult it must have been, besides, her death was caused by the people who took her.
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Old 12th Oct 2010, 11:46
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It could be argued that her death was caused by her own decision to travel to Afghanistan contrary to any sane risk assessment.
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Old 12th Oct 2010, 11:50
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As far as I am concerned, the lady's well intentioned naivety put others at risk.

As well as herself.
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Old 12th Oct 2010, 11:53
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and particularly about how gung-ho the Americans are.

Please don't let this become a slagging the USA thread.

US special forces are trained to a very high standard and will be as devastated as anyone else that this rescue didn't come off. Sometimes they don't, despite meticulous planning and execution, there are always too many unknowns.
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Old 12th Oct 2010, 12:00
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the lady's well intentioned naivety put others at risk
I am sure Ms Norgrove was well intentioned but doubt whether she was some igenue. She clearly was a highly educated person with a senior role in a respected organisation with a great deal of experience in similar hotspots. I am sure she understood the risks and took a rational decision to go where she did when she was captured.

It is tragic that she was killed and if it proven that she was killed accidently by her rescuers then the tragedy is compounded for all concerned. I am sure that the US forces braved the dangers they faced in trying to rescue her with equal fortitude and despite the outcome they should be thanked for trying.

The only people who deserve our criticism here are the barbarians who kidnapped her in the first place for they are to blame for her death.
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Old 12th Oct 2010, 12:52
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Bungled? The rescue wasn't "bungled". The outcome simply wasn't what we'd hope for - but there's always uncertainty in such situations.



Barbarians. I like that. Its not often that the correct word is used.
Calling them Taliban, fanatics, terrorists or whatever takes the edge of it somehow.
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Old 12th Oct 2010, 14:29
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Concur with NamibFox's points. The issue that is generating disquiet is that it appears that it was a US grenade that killed Ms Norgrove. In many people's minds, this creates the image of some bad guys and the hostage in a room into which some careless GI then tossed a grenade, which of course doesn't distinguish between barbarians and Scottish aid workers as it spreads its shrapnel.

I doubt very much that the reality was anywhere near that simple, and hopefully a quick enquiry will be able to nail down what did happen in such a way that it is clear to everyone that it was just an unfortunate accident that is always possible in that sort of situation.
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Old 12th Oct 2010, 15:29
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BBC TV News last night; not so much a cûck-up as why did it take 48 hours for the possibility of her being killed by friendly fire was mentioned
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Old 12th Oct 2010, 15:50
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Bungled? The rescue wasn't "bungled".
Quite agree Blacksheep, the operation was unsucccessful but no-one can validly make an accusation of bungling unless they are in full possession of the facts, which they certainly aren't as yet.

The internet is alive with armchair experts criticising the American forces involved in the rescue attempt, with innumerable comments along the lines of "they should have sent the SAS in". Am I the only one who has become heartily sick of the elevation of the SAS to god-like status? Fantastically trained and highly fit special forces they may be, but they are human and just as likely to fail in a situation like this as the next man.

Agreed parabellum the last thing we want on here is a transatlantic slagging contest.
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Old 12th Oct 2010, 16:12
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[quote]BBC TV News last night; not so much a cûck-up as why did it take 48 hours for the possibility of her being killed by friendly fire was mentioned[/QUOTE]

Beware the first rough draft of history Lon More.

Linda Norgrove was "killed by her captors", "executed by the Taliban" and died after one of her kidnappers "detonated a suicide vest" when her rescuers were "within seconds" of saving her life.

That certainly was what the world learned when the news first broke at the weekend of the attempt by US special forces to rescue the Scottish aid worker held hostage in Afghanistan.

Now, however, a different version of how she died is emerging, with the suggestion that she may have been accidentally killed by a grenade thrown by her American rescuers.
The death of British aid worker Linda Norgrove was caught on helmet-mounted cameras worn by the officers who mistakenly killed her with a grenade, it has emerged.

It comes as Miss Norgrove's parents last night demanded to know how the elite U.S. troops sent in to rescue her apparently ended up killing their daughter in the botched Afghanistan rescue bid.
The U.S. yesterday issued an extraordinary apology to Britain over the doomed mission to free the aid worker from the clutches of the Taliban.
American officials initially claimed Miss Norgrove had been killed when one of her captors detonated a suicide vest. But a review of footage taken by helmet cameras raised suspicions that in fact, it was a U.S. grenade which killed Miss Norgrove.
As darkness fell, Linda Norgrove had no inkling of the bloodbath to come. Held in a mud compound in a part of Afghanistan known as ‘Enemy Central,’ the Scottish aid worker had settled down on Friday for her 13th night in captivity.
All was quiet, save for the noise of farm animals brought into the compound for the night.
But the silence was shattered shortly before dawn as U.S. special forces began a daring operation to ‘extract’ the 36-year-old hostage.


To cries of ‘medic! medic!’, doctors rushed to the scene. But it was too late. She succumbed to her injuries as she was being airlifted to hospital – the third British civilian to die in Afghanistan in the last three months.
Yet, inexplicably, the U.S. and Nato both claimed that she had died at the hands of a suicide bomber, who had apparently detonated his vest as he stood beside her when the Seals were closing in.

The official statement released on Saturday by Nato, was unequivocal about the cause of death: the blast that killed Miss Norgrove occurred ‘seconds before rescuers arrived. [U.S. special forces] had entered the compound … [but] an insurgent detonated an explosive device that was attached to his person. He was in close enough proximity to Miss Norgrove. She was wounded.’
That statement, we now know, was inaccurate. For three days, the special forces failed to reveal the fact that one of them had apparently thrown a grenade that exploded close to where she was being held, bursting into razor-sharp steel shrapnel.
It was only yesterday morning when their commanding officer reviewed audio and video footage from their helmet cameras that he ‘saw an arm throw a hand grenade’ and confronted his troops.




Last edited by Ned Parsnip; 12th Oct 2010 at 16:33.
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Old 12th Oct 2010, 17:00
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Ned:

I suspect your "selective quoting" there might be malicious in nature.

The paragraphs leading up to your final quote paint a more complex picture:-

The Seals then sprinted to the building where Miss Norgrove was being held, as 150 other U.S. troops surrounded the compound.
Overhead, Predator drones and Apache attack helicopters hovered, ready to provide air support. But the Taliban were not prepared to give up their prize lightly.
Using Colt M4A1 automatic rifles and grenades, five Navy Seals were engaged in a vicious fire-fight as they attempted to get to the hostage. She was being guarded by at least eight terrorists.
Despite the fierce Taliban resistance, the Seals managed to fight their way towards the Miss Norgrove’s building. And then, with six Taliban gunmen already dead, one of the Seals threw a grenade through the door.
When the Seals entered the room, they found Linda Norgrove. She was still alive, but had terrible injuries caused by the grenade blast.
To cries of ‘medic! medic!’, doctors rushed to the scene. But it was too late....
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Old 12th Oct 2010, 17:24
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Ned:

I suspect your "selective quoting" there might be malicious in nature.
Quite the contrary AA.

I'd specifically avoided mention of Predators, Apache gunships, and the SEALS going in with Colt ARs, grenades and the whole nine yards.

But I see you've now covered that yourself.
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Old 12th Oct 2010, 17:59
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Put yourself in harms way, you cannot complain when sh1t happens. Whatever her motives for being where she was when she was kidnapped, it was her choice. Those who attempted to rescue her, being serving soldiers, had less choice. If any of them had been killed and the rescue had succeeded, I wonder how she would have felt? Being killed by a grenade at close quarters was a better end than she could have expected from her captors, judging by the revolting videos that the likes of them have released in the past.

A sad end, but could have been much worse if the rescue attempt had not been so well planned and professionally executed.

TT
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Old 12th Oct 2010, 19:02
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Quite the contrary AA.
Then that's my mistake... I got the impression, (especially from the part you bolded), that you were avoiding the difficulty the SEALs faced and were then trying to somehow imply that they were avoiding taking responsibility until their boss caught them.
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Old 12th Oct 2010, 19:08
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I've already posted this on the UK politics thread:-
Incidentally, I find it rather nauseating that people excuse what might have been a stupid error or might have been tragic accident or might have been murder by terrorists by accusing Ms. Norgrove, saying she wouldn't be dead if she hadn't been there, and that by "allowing" herself to be captured she put soldiers at risk in attempting to resuce her. She was not some brainless bimbo. She had a PhD, was working towards an MBA, had worked in Mexico, Laos, Uganda and Peru and spoke Dari. She was a committed aid worker, doing what she could to help people in need. She had the balls to put herself in harm's way to help others. If others don't, then don't sneer.
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Old 12th Oct 2010, 19:28
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Captain Stable:

Link

The author is something of an authority... and an ex-Rock to boot...
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Old 12th Oct 2010, 19:36
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A PhD is obtained through intelligence.

There are a load of Intelligent Idiots out there.
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Old 12th Oct 2010, 19:40
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Thanks for that link AA. Sensible stuff spoken there.

I am not one of those selfless persons who tries to make the World a better place in Afghanistan but I do try to do a little in a different way in the corner of the World I have chosen to call home.

Unfotunately, we have a few extremists in the area who have taken good people a killed them. I take reasonable precautions but there is a risk.

I have explained to my wife that I do not want to be rescued should the worst happen. My main reason for this:

1. I could not live with myself if one of the rescuers were to die attempting to get me out of the sh!t I had - voluntarily - got myself into.
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Old 12th Oct 2010, 19:47
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Here's a couple of reflections, as germain today as they were in 1842.


# The First Afghan War provided the clear lesson to the British authorities that while it may be relatively straightforward to invade Afghanistan it is wholly impracticable to occupy the country or attempt to impose a government not welcomed by the inhabitants. The only result will be failure and great expense in treasure and lives.
# The British Army learnt a number of lessons from this sorry episode. One was that the political officers must not be permitted to predominate over military judgements.
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Old 12th Oct 2010, 20:13
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So I’d like to offer a reality check. The security situation in Afghanistan has been steadily declining since 2004. In the past three years, it’s nosedived even in areas that were once considered relatively secure.
This gels very much with the views of a policeman friend who has been working as an Afghan police advisor in parts of Afghanistan.

There is a symbiosis between the military (the upper echelons of the military or the politicians anyway) and the NGOs in Afghanistan. The military need the NGOs to continue the job of trying to win hearts and minds and stabilising and supporting Afghan society and to prove that the campaign is bringing 'normality' to 'secured' parts of the country. The NGOs need the military to secure these areas and to help them in extremis when needed.

For a politically astute military leader to admit that it is unsafe for NGO personnel anywhere in Afghanistan (which is probably true) would be to admit that the campaign is not the simple formula his or her political masters back in Washington or London would have their citizens believe and would be the first step to a ticket back home and a career terminator.

The truth is Ms Norgrove could have been kidnapped just as easily in supposedly 'secure' Kabul. The risk was much higher in the area she was travelling in but she and her organisation were well aware of the risks. Far from being a naive fool or a victim I am sure she was a sensible and brave woman who fell foul of the risks that face both civilians and the military (to varying degrees) all over that unfortunate country.

No doubt operational procedures will be reviewed amongst NGOs and the relevant parts of the military as a result of her capture and the ensuing rescue attempt.

The fact that the US team came so close but yet so far to saving her is a tribute to them and to the brave people both military and civilian (Western and Afghan) who are trying to do their best for the many decent Afghani people.
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