No Man Gets Left Behind a Flawed Policy

A great fault in American military psychology is the policy of, “Leave no man behind.”

Obama recently released five Taliban detainees in exchange for American soldier Bowe Bergdahl, whom the Taliban had captured and imprisoned for five years. CNN noted that “the Obama administration says it couldn’t leave a soldier behind.” Never mind alleged treachery by Bergdahl according to his former platoon members, nor the violent history of the released detainees.

In the the book “Battle of Mogadishu,” and subsequent movie, “Black Hawk Down,” Gen. William F. Garrison told his soldiers before they left the base that “no one gets left behind.” In the battle that ensued, 18 Americans were killed and 73 wounded.

In 2005, during Operation Red Wing, depicted in the film, “Lone Survivor,” Taliban forces ambushed four Navy Seals. A Chinook helicopter carrying 16 Americans was shot down during a rescue attempt. The Taliban commander said he knew reinforcements would come because of the U.S. “leave no man behind” policy.

Not to say Americans should leave men behind, but where’s the logic in Obama’s decision? The detainees weren’t low-level soldiers; they were high-ranking terrorists. That’s what happens with “no man gets left behind.”

— Silas Tsang

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