The latest attempt to rescue hostages from the clutches of terrorist groups failed earlier this week. These well-executed feats of derring-do have seized the imagination of the public, and apparently of our highest officials as well, but I suspect our string of good luck in pulling them off may have been stretched to the breaking point.
Not only is the element of surprise lost, but officials have seemingly bent over backwards to publicize exactly how they are carried out, with details amplified by Hollywood-style reenactments. The hostage-takers aren't idiots. By now, they will be expecting rescue attempts, and of course will take steps to thwart them. The risk to our special forces teams undertaking such missions is significantly increased.
This week, the Administration's call was that we could not not attempt the rescue. That was probably the correct call at the time. Next time, though, I hope we'll recognize that the dynamic has changed.