Once again U.S. special operations forces attempted to rescue two American University professors kidnapped in Kabul last month. The Mission was unsuccessful because the White House withheld its approval despite Intelligence reports pinpointing the location at which the hostages were being held.
The Two professors – one American, the other Australian were kidnapped during the Taliban attack on the American University. Disguised as police, the attackers killed twelve people and likely kidnaped the educators for ransom. After the release of Bergdahl and the ransom payment to Iran, the Taliban or the Haqqani network seized on the opportunity to grab a few westerners.
This was not the first mission involving Special Forces sent to rescue the two professors. The first mission was aborted when the White House refused to approve the operation, even as the teams were heading to the target. Thanks to the White House, the teams had to return to base and wait. According to the official excuse there were concerns that the intelligence presented was not completely firm and there was not consensus among different government agencies.
Sound familiar? In 2014 U.S. Special Forces staged an unsuccessful operation to rescue photojournalist James Foley and other Americans being held in Syria by Islamic State militants. The rescue attempt was delayed because the Administration had problems with the intelligence placing American hostages at the particular location. As a result of the delay, the hostages were moved from the known location. James Foley would lose his life on August 19, 2014
The second rescue mission took place a few days after the initial attempt. It focused on a compound near Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan. Seven enemy fighters were killed but the hostages had already been moved to another location.