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Thread: The Desert One Debacle

  1. #1
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    The Desert One Debacle

    [URL="http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2006/05/the-desert-one-debacle/4803/1/"]http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2006/05/the-desert-one-debacle/4803/1/[/URL]

    Too long of an article to post.



    [QUOTE]

    [B][U]The Desert One Debacle[/U][/B]


    [I]In April 1980, President Jimmy Carter sent the Army’s Delta Force to bring back fifty-three American citizens held hostage in Iran. Everything went wrong. The fireball in the Iranian desert took the Carter presidency with it. [/I]



    By Mark Bowden


    Washington, D.C., April 11, 1980, Noon


    The meeting began with Jimmy Carter’s announcement: “Gentlemen, I want you to know that I am seriously considering an attempt to rescue the hostages.”

    Hamilton Jordan, the White House chief of staff, knew immediately that the president had made a decision. Planning and practice for a rescue mission had been going on in secret for five months, but it had always been regarded as the last resort, and ever since the November 4 embassy takeover, the White House had made every effort to avoid it. As the president launched into a list of detailed questions about how it was to be done, his aides knew he had mentally crossed a line.

    Carter had met the takeover in Iran with tremendous restraint, equating the national interest with the well-being of the fifty-three hostages, and his measured response had elicited a great deal of admiration, both at home and abroad. His approval ratings had doubled in the first month of the crisis. But in the following months, restraint had begun to smell like weakness and indecision. Three times in the past five months, carefully negotiated secret settlements had been ditched by the inscrutable Iranian mullahs, and the administration had been made to look more foolish each time. Approval ratings had nose-dived, and even stalwart friends of the administration were demanding action. Jimmy Carter’s formidable patience was badly strained.

    And the mission that had originally seemed so preposterous had gradually come to seem feasible. It was a two-day affair with a great many moving parts and very little room for error—one of the most daring thrusts in U.S. military history. It called for a nighttime rendezvous of helicopters and planes at a landing strip in the desert south of Tehran, where the choppers would refuel before carrying the raiding party to hiding places just outside the city. The whole force would then wait through the following day and assault the embassy compound on the second night, spiriting the hostages to a nearby soccer stadium from which the helicopters could take them to a seized airstrip outside the city, to the transport planes that would carry them to safety and freedom. With spring coming on, the hours of darkness, needed to get the first part of this done, were shrinking fast.

    ...
    [/QUOTE]

  2. #2
    I remember the incident well.
    A poorly conceived and poorly executed plan. There were many elements which were never considered. t that time, our military had been depleted because of the negative feelings about the Vietnam War.
    We wound up with, I believe 8 dead men and were embarrassed. We were a paper tiger at the time. We are becoming one again BTW.

  3. #3
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    [QUOTE=palmetto defender;4453317]I remember the incident well.
    A poorly conceived and poorly executed plan. There were many elements which were never considered. t that time, our military had been depleted because of the negative feelings about the Vietnam War.
    We wound up with, I believe 8 dead men and were embarrassed. We were a paper tiger at the time. We are becoming one again BTW.[/QUOTE]

    Why not read the article?

  4. #4
    [QUOTE=Buster;4453340]Why not read the article?[/QUOTE]

    I did. I summarized it and my memory of the event. A completely stupid undertaking. We were totally incompetent in planning and execution.
    We had a guy at Delta who was grandstanding and the idiot Carter, who was weak, bought in.
    Only a moron would think it could work. Too many factors could go wrong. It only took one. Had that one NOT happened other ones would.

  5. #5
    [QUOTE=palmetto defender;4453317]I remember the incident well.
    A poorly conceived and poorly executed plan. There were many elements which were never considered. t that time, our military had been depleted because of the negative feelings about the Vietnam War.
    We wound up with, I believe 8 dead men and were embarrassed. We were a paper tiger at the time. We are becoming one again BTW.[/QUOTE]

    we are? Obama knows how to runn a mission!

  6. #6
    This was probably the pinnacle of Jimmy(sissy)Carter's incompetence....

  7. #7
    [QUOTE=FF2®;4453867]we are? Obama knows how to runn a mission![/QUOTE]


    The Iran mission was an imcompetent one.
    There is a big difference between a RESCUE mission and a KILLING mission.
    Killing is easy. Pulling out a large group of hostages is not.
    We ree capable (and always have been) of killing anyone at anytime. Just need to determine location.
    We no longer fight in general to win. Once we could. WWII is a prime example - destroy the enemy. Now "rules of engagement" prevent the return of fire in many cases. NONSENSE.

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