...A U.S. official confirmed the service member killed in the raid was a member of SEAL Team Six, the same unit that killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011...
And some statements from the brass:
From SecDef Panetta: The special operators who conducted this raid knew they were putting their lives on the line to free a fellow American from the enemy's grip. They put the safety of another American ahead of their own, as so many of our brave warriors do every day and every night. In this fallen hero, and all of our special operators, Americans see the highest ideals of citizenship, sacrifice and service upheld. The torch of freedom burns brighter because of them.
And from the President: Yesterday, our special operators in Afghanistan rescued an American citizen in a mission that was characteristic of the extraordinary courage, skill and patriotism that our troops show every day. Tragically, we lost one of our special operators in this effort. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, just as we must always honor our troops and military families. He gave his life for his fellow Americans, and he and his teammates remind us once more of the selfless service that allows our nation to stay strong, safe and free.
So, what are your thoughts on sending in SOF/Tier1 to rescue a kidnapped civilian who was knowingly operating in hostile territory against all warnings for him to be there? Are the NGOs that valuable to the mission of succeeding in Afghanistan that we risk one of our best operators to get them out? Seven dead Taliban for one SEAL?
When more details emerge, I'm sure things might change a bit; however, I'm not certain that we should be using these assets in the rescue of civilians who knowingly venture into hostile territories. I'm sure we'll also be hearing about how important Morning Star Development is to the Afghan people.
Last, can we (our government) stop advertising SEAL Team Six/DevGru/whatever-you-want-to-call them's activities?
Update: CBS reports the identity of the fallen SEAL as Petty Officer First Class Nicolas Checque of Monroeville, Pa.
Godspeed, Petty Officer First Class Nicolas Checque.
Update 2: Tangentially related, USNI has a piece about the role of Navy SOF (how much).
Update 3: What about Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl? Is it then worth going to get SGT Bowe Bergdahl should we locate him?