Many media organizations have been indirectly, and in some cases directly, been blaming the Trump Administration and in some cases the President himself, for the death of a Navy SEAL, Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens, during a raid in Yemen that went very badly last month.
Besides Owens, civilian casualties were reported and it looks like the team missed their original target.
War is seldom a black and white affair. Most operations and outcomes are varying shades of grey in both ethics and results. No one knows this better than former Delta Force soldier Dale Comstock.
Comstock is a legend in the special operations community. Here is just a partial bio from Military Movies and News:
Comstock is a retired Master Sergeant who spent 20 years in the U.S. Army, and was twice decorated for valor. He spent half his tenure as a Delta Force Operator, five years as a Green Beret and his first five years as a member of the 82nd Airborne. After his retirement, he spent nine years as a freelance soldier in support of the global war on terror. Comstock currently resides in Panama City Beach, Florida and is a vice president for a security consulting company, a university professor, martial arts instructor and competitive body builder.
After more and more news about how badly the SEAL raid went began finding its way into the media, IJ Review decided to reach out to Comstock to get his thoughts on the operation and what he thought went wrong. His answer was pretty eye opening. From the interview:
“Much of the media has no f****** clue what they’re talking about.
I’ve been to over seventy countries in the world as a soldier, security consultant, and civilian. I’ve been to every country in the Middle East. Yemen is one of the most dangerous countries on the planet. Syria isn’t the most dangerous country in the Middle East, Yemen is.
Most roads in Yemen have manned checkpoints. There are terrorist groups at every checkpoint. There is Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and the Houthis — who are funded by Iran. The streets aren’t safe.
If you have a white face on the streets of Yemen, it’s a death sentence. There is a very high chance that you will get captured and killed.”
“Because of the extremely dangerous conditions, it’s not an easy place for a Navy SEAL or any other operator to do their job. The situation on the ground is a lot like Somalia was,” Comstock continued.
Comstock then reiterated that it’s not the President’s fault when service members die, that is just the outcome of war sometimes saying, “People going after Trump for Yemen do not understand how raids work. I’ve been on several, and sometimes the worst-case scenario is what happens.”
To read Comstock’s full comments check out his interview with IJR.