Linda Norgrove - Should they have tried to rescue her?

Linda Norgrove was an aid worker in Afghanistan who was killed when a rescue attempt was made by US Sepcial Forces. It looks as though she was killed by a friendly fire grenade instead of, as initially reported, a suicide vest worn by one of the captors.

Putting aside the fact the risks and such of being an aid worker in the area, the question is, should the rescue attempt go ahead? Some sources are saying that a negotiated release was possible, but that the decision was made to go ahead anyway.

More on the story here.

At what point, does negotiation run out and force become the answer? Should it be when all other avenues have been exhausted or should it become an option that is weighed up and taken if it is considered the best option.

Comments

It is always ticklish to negotiate with hostage takers. She was a non-combatant and dealing with those that take and try to trade non-combatants is usually a losing strategy in the long run that leads to greater misery. The best policy is sadly to attempt to get the hostage back without giving up anything major or to attempt rescue. Making any major concessions or exchanging enemy combatants sets a dangerous precedent.

You need to stop the negotiations long before all other avenues are exhausted.

If they knew where she was, and her captors didn't know they knew, they should have paid them and once she was released, then made sure they never lived to spend it.

I want to agree with What Exit?, but...

Quote Originally posted by ivan astikov View post
If they knew where she was, and her captors didn't know they knew, they should have paid them and once she was released, then made sure they never lived to spend it.
...the action movie fan in me has to applaud this sort of thinking.

What appears bad is that the latest reports say the US Special Forces decided to go it alone without assistance from British Special Forces and in what has been described as a "Gung-Ho" manner.

There is supposedly going to be joint investigation into what went wrong, but as it appears it is being conducted by a US commander, I fully suspect there will be a full cover-up with a couple of platitudes aimed at the family and absolutely no comeback.

I'll wait for the footage to come out on Wikileaks.

Oh, that's awful if that's true, CIAS. From what I understand, the rates of death from friendly fire among US troops have gone through the roof, as well. I don't know what the stats are in relation to the current wars, but in the first Gulf War they'd been 52% of deaths. Drawing attention to our dismal record and admitting that this is yet another example of it would be bad, so I'm sure a cover-up will be the goal.

Quote Originally posted by Nrblex View post
I want to agree with What Exit?, but...

Quote Originally posted by ivan astikov View post
If they knew where she was, and her captors didn't know they knew, they should have paid them and once she was released, then made sure they never lived to spend it.
...the action movie fan in me has to applaud this sort of thinking.
Despite how dramatic it might sound, I can't believe it was beyond the technological, logistics and physical abilities of 2 of the most powerful armed forces on the planet.

It looks as though more detail is coming out about this then I might have expected.

Summary of details here

It looks as though one of the Special Forces screwed up, badly.

Ugh, yeah, I'll say.

Sources in Kabul and London have confirmed that during the assault on the kidnappers' hideaway the hostage broke away from her captors and lay in a foetal position to avoid harm.

The soldier from the elite Seal Team Six special forces unit failed to see Norgrove and tossed his fragmentation grenade in, which exploded next to her.

Mixing two SF units for a small operation is a recipe for disaster, so I can see why the US forces went in alone.If this had been pulled off, they would have been called heroes. It's dark, taking fire from a building, see someone dive behind something, training kicks in. There's always the chance of a stray round/ricochet hitting something other than the intended target. War isn't clean and happy, where only combatants get injured and this wasn't the typical friendly fire incident due to miscommunication between units.

The US is already going out of their way to make it as transparent as possible. Petraeus is a great commander and has a lot of experience in successfully dealing with the media, unlike McChrystal. Haven't you noticed there's a lot more media coming out of Afghanistan in the past two months compared to the past few years?

Mixing two SF units for a small operation is a recipe for disaster, so I can see why the US forces went in alone.If this had been pulled off, they would have been called heroes. It's dark, taking fire from a building, see someone dive behind something, training kicks in. There's always the chance of a stray round/ricochet hitting something other than the intended target. War isn't clean and happy, where only combatants get injured and this wasn't the typical friendly fire incident due to miscommunication between units.

The US is already going out of their way to make it as transparent as possible. Petraeus is a great commander and has a lot of experience in successfully dealing with the media, unlike McChrystal. Haven't you noticed there's a lot more media coming out of Afghanistan in the past two months compared to the past few years?