This is about doctrine, specifically the Obama Administration's doctrine, and how it doesn't work in the real world:
Leon Penetta is Either a Dumbass or a Liar
The Secretary of Defense, in his most determined way, continues to try to protect the President from the fiasco in Benghazi. So desperate to shield the President he announced what will be forever remembered as the Penetta Doctrine:
“(The) basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on; without having some real-time information about what’s taking place,” Panetta told Pentagon reporters. “And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.”
Of course, in the circles that I ran with, it will be forever labeled “The Dumbest Shit I Ever Heard Doctrine”.
To be fair to Leon, however, his audience for this ridiculous statement was not members of the military and especially not for those in the Special Operations arena who immediately recognized that the entire statement is not a doctrine at all. It is horseshit, nothing more.
The “The Dumbest Shit I Ever Heard Doctrine” was targeted toward civilians. Read the doctrine carefully. On the surface it makes a case for Force Protection being an overriding element of critical decision making and it should be and it makes sense. The Secretary of Defense wants to ensure the safety of our troops and understands the value of “real-time information”. Okay, makes sense, good job Leon, end of story, right?
A couple of points however need to be made.
First. I am certain that Penetta realizes that we have very specially trained folks whose job it is to execute missions just like what was needed in Benghazi. On the other hand, maybe he didn’t, since both of the Generals who he supposedly consulted with have a grand total of ZERO days duty in any Special Operations organization. In fact, they are both old tankers. The senior of which, General Dempsy, has a Master's degree in literature
from Duke University
, where he wrote a thesis
on the Irish poet W B Yeats
. He was a Captain then, and that thesis alone should have rendered him ineligible for promotion to field grade officer.
Second, and this is very important. I don’t know what Penetta’s definition of “real-time information” is, but I suspect that, if Eisenhower had the same doctrine, we’d still be sitting in England waiting to invade Europe.
Let’s review the real-time facts that we know so far. The entire event was being streamed live to the State Department and, in all likelihood, the White House situation room. That’s pretty “real-time” if you ask me, but it gets worse. Not only were we watching the entire damn thing on expensive televisions; we had at least two highly trained special operators on the ground in direct communication!
Do you think the whole Pointe Du Hoc event would have happened during the D-Day attack if Ike and boys had two Navy SEALs telling them that the artillery had been moved?
Maybe MacArthur should have cancelled the Inchon landings in Korea because having a live tv stream and two highly trained individuals on the ground just wasn’t quite enough “real-time information”?
And this is why “The Dumbest Shit I Ever Heard Doctrine” is so ridiculous.
The best “real-time information” possible is eyes on the objective.
Even better is people on the objective with eyes on the enemy.
Even better than that is people on the objective that are highly trained with years of special ops experience in direct communications.
My God people, this was a perfect intelligence situation to execute a forced entry relief operation!
I spent my youth (24 years) in Infantry and tier one Special Ops units and have been up to my ass is serious fighting on many occasions. In all that time, I never hit an objective where two Navy SEALs were already there and feeding me all the information I could ever want! Hell, that wouldn’t even be a raid, it would be a link-up!
What more information do you need? Or was this never about information at all? Was it really the president deciding that the lives of four Americans wasn’t worth as much as a campaign talking point?
In any case, this was not a military consideration made by Penetta or any Generals, it was purely political.
And that pisses me off.
Me too. Me too...