Small Wars Journal

Closing In

Closing In. New York Times book review of  ‘The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden,’ by Mark Bowden. Review by Tara McKelvey.

Drones or SEALs: Those were the options President Obama and his advisers considered in the days before the raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan. If they obliterated Osama bin Laden with a missile, they would have difficulty proving he was dead. The SEALs would be able to show they got him, but if things went badly they themselves might be killed. Either option was risky since the odds, as the president saw them, were only “50-50” that Bin Laden was even there. So a deputy national security adviser, Benjamin Rhodes, was asked to compose different speeches - one for a successful raid, the other for a botched one...