President Donald Trump honored the slain member of the United States Navy SEALs who was killed in a military operation in Yemen last January. Addressing a joint session of Congress last Tuesday, the President highlighted the serviceman’s heroism during his speech.
“Ryan died as he lived: a warrior and a hero battling against terrorism and securing our nation,” President Donald Trump said in his speech as quoted by USA Today.
William “Ryan” Owens, a member of the United States Navy SEALs, was killed in action during a raid in Yemen last January. Ryan is said to be the first serviceman killed in action under President Trump’s administration.
“Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country, and for our freedom — we will never forget him,” President Trump continued as he acknowledged Owens’ widow Carryn Owens who was present in the event. The emotional speech was met with a thunderous applause by the audience.
The failed Yemen raid met criticisms from various quarters who questioned if it was a wise move for the new administration to approve it. Although it was the first military operation authorized by Donald Trump, the raid was originally conceived and planned during Obama’s administration.
“Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn’t even barely a week into his administration?” Owens’ father was quoted by Miami Herald. The unnamed father questioned the validity of the mission that claimed the US Navy SEAL’s life.
The controversial Yemen raid also killed civilians and injured several Americans. It was a costly operation as a disabled military plane worth $90 million had to be destroyed to prevent it from falling into enemy hands.
Some military officials even criticized the Yemen military operation that killed US Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, Business Insider reported. According to the publication, US military officials informed Reuters that the raid pushed through even without sufficient intelligence, backup plans, and ground support.
But it appears that President Donald Trump is not yet willing to accept full responsibility for the botched Yemen operation, Independent reported. The current administration seems to suggest that it was the military’s fault.
“This was something that was, you know, just – they wanted to do,” Trump was quoted as saying. “And they came to see me and they explained what they wanted to do, the generals, who are very respected.”
Aside from the military, it appears that Trump is also passing some of the blame to the previous administration. In an interview with Fox News, the President explained that the mission “was started before I got here.”
Responding to Trump’s attempt to evade responsibility and pass the buck to his predecessor, an official from the Obama administration expressed his stand on the issue.
“In a nutshell, Trump and his team owns the process and the ultimate decision – and the consequences,” Colin Kahl posted on Twitter. Kahl was a national security official during the previous administration.
Military officials also expressed their position along those lines. Unnamed US military officials speaking on conditions of anonymity told Reuters that the Yemen raid was an ill-advised decision, saying that intelligence was basically insufficient because ground surveillance was minimal.
“The decision was made… to leave it to the incoming administration, partly in the hope that more and better intelligence could be collected,” an official told Reuters. In other words, their position is that Donald Trump should not blame the military for the controversial Yemen raid.
Meanwhile, Trump was reported to have traveled to meet the body of the slain United Stated Navy SEALs member. However, Owens’ father declined to meet the president.
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