No American was yet inside the residential part of the compound. Mark and his team were inside a downed helicopter at one corner, while James and his team were at the opposite end. The teams had barely been on target for a minute, and the mission was already veering off course.

In the New Yorker, Nicholas Schmidle has a fascinating overview of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. “Getting Bin Laden” breaks down the planning, debates over intelligence and raid itself.

It also states, unambiguously, that killing Bin Laden was the ultimate goal. Regardless of how you feel about the targeted assassination*, the article offers an in-depth look at another world. Some disturbing details are revealed: our poisonous relationship with Pakistan, the increase in drone attacks under Obama and the fact that these types of raids are almost a nightly occurrence. It’s hard to see how the United States can step back from international raids being standard operating procedure, especially when the most prominent example was so effective.


* Just my two cents: I don’t object to Bin Laden’s murder, but I always favored the prospect of him being tried and jailed like any other criminal.