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Why was there no poll bounce for Obama

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Newsweek looked at why Obama's poll numbers stayed exactly the same - 48% approve, 49% disapprove - in the two days before and two days after the killing of Bin Laden.

How much overall boost did President Obama get from the capture of Osama Bin Laden? None, according to an exclusive Newsweek / Daily Beast poll encompassing 1,200 American adults, conducted in the two days immediately before the president’s Sunday announcement about the terrorist leader, and then the two days immediately after.

Specifically, Americans like the way he handled the situation, giving him strong results in strength and decision-making (55 percent now term him a strong leader overall, and 63 percent do so in the area of terrorism). Yet he did not get any overall bump in terms of approval rating, or electoral support. His approval rate was unchanged—48 approve, 49 disapprove, both before and after. There was also no statistical change in whether Obama deserves reelection—40/48 before, 39/49 after.

The clear reason: It's the economy, stupid. Even after Bin Laden’s death, only 30 percent think the country is on the right track, and only 27 percent think the economy is on the right track. Respondents disapprove of President Obama's handling of the economy by a margin of 56 percent to 39 percent.

Gallup has him gaining 8%, from 42% approve to 50% approve, which is still below the 52.9% of the popular vote share he won in the 2008 election. When Gallup releases numbers for today, I'll add them in. Gallup released today's numbers - 52%-40%. Still below his 2008 share.

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Obama is a very polarizing president. The key will be to see how much he went up among independents.

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Americans care about jobs first and foremost..."it's the economy, stupid"

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Obama is a very polarizing president. The key will be to see how much he went up among independents.

If he went up among independents in the Newsweek poll, then he had to drop among either republicans or democrats, and with his ratings so low for republicans to begin with, it would almost have to be a drop among democrats to compensate.

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This article seems to dispute your premise

For Obama, Big Rise in Poll Numbers After Bin Laden Raid

By JAMES DAO and DALIA SUSSMAN

Support for President Obama rose sharply after the killing of Osama bin Laden, with a majority now approving of his overall job performance, as well as his handling of foreign policy, the war in Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

The glow of national pride seemed to rise above partisan politics, as support for the president rose significantly among both Republicans and independents. In all, 57 percent said they now approved of the president’s job performance, up from 46 percent last month.

But euphoria was tempered by a sense of foreboding: more than six in 10 Americans said that killing Bin Laden was likely to increase the threat of terrorism against the United States in the short term. A large majority also said that the Qaeda leader’s death did not make them feel any safer. Just 16 percent said they personally felt more safe now.

Though there has been talk in some quarters that the United States military can now leave Afghanistan, the poll showed that public sentiment on the issue seems more complicated.

Nearly half said the nation should decrease troop levels in Afghanistan. But more than six in 10 also said the United States had not completed its mission in Afghanistan, suggesting that the public would oppose a rapid withdrawal of all American forces.

One Democrat polled, Richard Olbrich, 68, said in a follow-up interview that Bin Laden’s death was not sufficient reason to remove all American forces.

“The Taliban needs to be defeated,” said Mr. Olbrich, a lawyer from Madison, Wis. “I have no idea how long it will take to complete that mission. And we can’t leave until Afghanistan is back on its feet a little bit.”

The Obama administration has said it plans to begin a gradual drawdown of troops from Afghanistan this summer, with a complete withdrawal to be completed in 2014.

It is common for presidents to see their poll numbers shoot up after major military or foreign policy successes. But they usually do not sustain the ratings.

Mr. Obama’s job approval rating rose 11 points, compared with an 8-point increase for President George W. Bush, to 58 percent, after the capture of Saddam Hussein in December 2003. Mr. Bush’s bump evaporated within a month.

The increase in Mr. Obama’s ratings came largely from Republicans and independents. Among independents, his approval rating increased 11 points from last month, to 52 percent, while among Republicans it rose 15 points, to 24 percent. Among Democrats, 86 percent supported his job performance, compared with 79 percent in April.

But in an indication that anxieties about unemployment, gas prices and the national debt have not withered with Bin Laden’s death, good will toward Mr. Obama did not extend to his economic policies. More than half said they disapproved of his handling of the economy, similar to the result last month, the poll found.

Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, addressed those worries on Wednesday, saying, “The country is still emerging from the worst recession since the Great Depression.”

“I think that gas prices have weighed heavily on Americans as they try to make ends meet,” Mr. Carney said. “And it’s entirely understandable why that sentiment is out there, because people are struggling.”

Mr. Obama received higher marks in several major areas of foreign policy. Slightly more than half said they liked the way he was handling foreign policy generally, up from 39 percent in April. About six in 10 approved of his handling of Afghanistan, up from 44 percent in January. And more than seven in 10 supported his handling of the terrorism threat, up from about half in August 2010.

Perhaps least surprising, more than eight in 10 said they supported his handling of the pursuit of Bin Laden.

Diane Bottum, 63, a Republican from Lafayette, Ind., said she thought that the commando operation to kill Bin Laden was a “macho thing” that would encourage many Republicans to vote for Mr. Obama next year.

“Wiping out Bin Laden has been almost 10 years in the making, so it’s really significant,” Ms. Bottum, a retired university professor, said. “I’m convinced he’s nailed the next election.”

The government placed military bases and diplomatic offices on higher alert after Bin Laden’s death, and those concerns about retaliatory attacks by Qaeda supporters are reflected in public opinion. About seven in 10 said they thought a terrorist attack in the United States in the next few months was somewhat or very likely, the highest percentage since 2004.

“When I first heard the news, I thought, ‘We’d better watch it,’ ” said Monica Byrne, 48, an independent from Paramus, N.J. “Attacks could be anywhere, but I feel the New York metropolitan area is a target because they want to disrupt our lives, especially in the financial and business sectors.”

In the long term, Americans were divided over the impact of the Qaeda leader’s death, with about a quarter saying the threat of terrorism would increase, about a quarter saying it would decrease and about 40 percent saying it would stay the same.

Americans were less ambivalent about whether the killing was a success, with nearly 90 percent calling it either a major or minor victory in the war on terrorism.

More than four in 10 Americans, 44 percent, also now think that the United States and its allies are winning the war on terrorism, up from 36 percent in 2006. But a significant minority, 45 percent, say the war is a draw.

The poll found opinion divided about whether the death of Bin Laden had brought a sense of closure about the Sept. 11 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people. Half said it had, while 45 percent said it had not. Majorities of Northeasterners and Westerners said they did not feel closure.

The nationwide telephone poll was conducted May 2 and 3 with 532 adults and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.

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Just wait until the pictures of him doing a victory lap today hit the nightly news. You'll see a bounce.

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OBama has a lot of goodwill points. Unless gas is $6 and things aren't trending upward he'll cruise

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The only poll numbers that matter will be released in November 2012.

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Most polls I've seen show a small overall bounce and a large bounce in how well people think he handles foreign policy.

Perhaps it would even be larger if his new Press Secretary wasn't so terrible. The guy seems totally in over his head. You would think that somebody that had ascended to that position wouldn't seem so flustered all the time, keep repeating himself over and over again, say "ah/uh/um" all the time, etc. The guy makes the White House look even more disorganized and amateurish than whatzi already think they are.

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My guess is if he can come off as very Presidential in the 60 minutes interview he'll get more of an overall bounce.

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He got a bounce for attacking Libya as well, but it went away pretty quickly. A poll bounce is only useful to him if he can leverage it. I think everyone is aware that these movements are temporary. It's still all about the economy and our short-term and long-term economic outlooks are not good.

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There is no way the killing of Bin Laden doesn't bump him up in the minds of the anti-Obamas, but they would never admit to it. My father is an anti-Obamamite. I'm sure if I asked him if this did anything to change his mind on Obama he'd go into some shmeel about Bin Laden's killing having nothing to do with Obama or some crazy conspiracy theory.

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You, me, or anyone else would have made the same decision.

How could anyone possibly say, "no thanks, I'll wait."

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You, me, or anyone else would have made the same decision.How could anyone possibly say, "no thanks, I'll wait."

Jimmy Carter might have offered a contrary view along the lines of "I wish I had waited." If this action had failed the critics would have used that as proof that Democrats can't be trusted to fight the WOT. It was a risky call that if it went wrong would have doomed his reelection chances in 2012.

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It is amusing that everything bad that happens is Bush's fault yet Obama wants 100% of the credit for this. I was willing to give him some props for this, but his "it was all me, me, me" speech turned me off.

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There is no way the killing of Bin Laden doesn't bump him up in the minds of the anti-Obamas, but they would never admit to it. My father is an anti-Obamamite. I'm sure if I asked him if this did anything to change his mind on Obama he'd go into some shmeel about Bin Laden's killing having nothing to do with Obama or some crazy conspiracy theory.

I'm clearly not a fan of Obama's policies. I do recognize that he did the right thing wrt Osama. It took some guts as there was clearly a risk of failure. The likelihood that I'll vote for him in Nov 2012 didn't increase one iota though.

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It is amusing that everything bad that happens is Bush's fault yet Obama wants 100% of the credit for this. I was willing to give him some props for this, but his "it was all me, me, me" speech turned me off.

And if this mission had gone completely wrong and was viewed as a total failure, he would have gotten 100% of the blame, wouldn't he? He did actually invite Bush to be present at the ground zero ceremonies today, but Bush declined.

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Maybe it's because this isn't the incredibly heroic decision that some are trying to portray it to be. Maybe the predominace of Americans see this as the military doing its job before and after the hit, and Obama simply making a no-brainer decision on it.

Note - that this was a no-brainer does not diminish my admiration of Obama for making it.

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When Americans are shocked by gas prices, there's not much a President can do to improve his approval numbers.

He could find away of bringing a consistent 365 days of 70 degree sunshine during the daylight hours and soft rainshowers for the plants 3 nights a week, but if Americans are paying too much to fill up their 4 doors, it wouldn't make a difference in his approval numbers.

Unless gas costs change, Obama's presidency will mirror Carter's.

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He didn't get a bounce because people don't believe OBL is dead....you guys are over thinking this.

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And if this mission had gone completely wrong and was viewed as a total failure, he would have gotten 100% of the blame, wouldn't he?

Correct.And they lost 1 helicopter... had they also lost the 2nd he would have taken a massive and possibly politically fatal hit.And no freaking republican hacks would be clamoring for some of that "bad credit".

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And if this mission had gone completely wrong and was viewed as a total failure, he would have gotten 100% of the blame, wouldn't he?

Correct.And they lost 1 helicopter... had they also lost the 2nd he would have taken a massive and possibly politically fatal hit.And no freaking republican hacks would be clamoring for some of that "bad credit".
Yeah if it went south how much credit would Palin be giving Bush then?

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When Americans are shocked by gas prices, there's not much a President can do to improve his approval numbers.

Can't he start sending out stimulus checks, regardless of the mounting debt, to appease people? That seemed to make a few people happy previously.

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Maybe it's because this isn't the incredibly heroic decision that some are trying to portray it to be. Maybe the predominace of Americans see this as the military doing its job before and after the hit, and Obama simply making a no-brainer decision on it.

Note - that this was a no-brainer does not diminish my admiration of Obama for making it.

The more I read about this action, the more I become convinced that this was a very difficult decision, and quite a risk.

The main reason that Osama was able to elude us for so many years was that we didn't want to interfere too much in Pakistan. Every action we take or don't take with regard to Pakistan has both short and long term security risks. If this mission had failed, it would not simply have resulted in a blown opportunity, it also might have seriously jeapordized our relationship with the Pakistani government. There were several considerations here that could not be made on a military level.

So I reject your interpretation of this event.

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I agree with tim. People who describe this decision as a no-brainer are looking at it with 20-20 hindsight. This had the potential to be a complete debacle, and there were other possible options on the table (e.g. a cruise missile strike).

Edit: There had to be at least one or two thoughtful, well-regarded people with solid national security credentials involved in this decision who said "Wait -- You mean we're going to send a small ground of special forces troops to raid a compound literally right down the block from a Pakistani military base? Really?" That's not a no-brainer at all.

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So I reject your interpretation of this event.

:lol:I'm shocked, shocked I tell you!

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Maybe it's because this isn't the incredibly heroic decision that some are trying to portray it to be. Maybe the predominace of Americans see this as the military doing its job before and after the hit, and Obama simply making a no-brainer decision on it.

Note - that this was a no-brainer does not diminish my admiration of Obama for making it.

The more I read about this action, the more I become convinced that this was a very difficult decision, and quite a risk.

The main reason that Osama was able to elude us for so many years was that we didn't want to interfere too much in Pakistan. Every action we take or don't take with regard to Pakistan has both short and long term security risks. If this mission had failed, it would not simply have resulted in a blown opportunity, it also might have seriously jeapordized our relationship with the Pakistani government. There were several considerations here that could not be made on a military level.

So I reject your interpretation of this event.

The mission was highly successful yet it appears it has still jeopardized our relationship with the Pakistani government over calls that we violated their sovereignty. What's the difference? I get it could have been worse had their been numerous Pakistani civilian deaths, but we're talking degrees of contempt rather than contempt vs. no contempt because there was always going to be contempt regardless of the outcome.

NOTE: I've heard interesting perspectives from ex-military men questioning whether the Pakistan government knew about the mission in advance. If they did, that would also bring the Pakistani claims that America violated their sovereignty into question unless they feel like they were strong-armed into complying.

EDIT: And I agree Obama made a tough yet great decision. Anytime you run the risk of civilian or American military casualties it's a tough call. Obama even had to consider the risk of alienating Pakistan. The above was just to say that any alienation that may occur would occur because of the decision to go in. Not whether it was successful or not.

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I agree with tim. People who describe this decision as a no-brainer are looking at it with 20-20 hindsight. This had the potential to be a complete debacle, and there were other possible options on the table (e.g. a cruise missile strike).

Really? You don't think the military put all the pieces together for Obama and gave him a plan that was laid out succinctly with all consequences clearly established? Maybe they just said - "Hey, that's Bin laden! Quick, go tell the boss and maybe he can cook up a plan for us to go get him!"The assets were in placeThe target was identifiedThe mission was small and carried out by elite forcesThere was virtually no resistanceThe risk of collateral damage was extremely lowThe mission looked to be extremely high reward/low riskWhat were the possible snafus? That Pakistan would be pissed off? Hell, Bin laden was lolling literally undefended in an estate in their country and they were doing nothing about it - they got caught neck deep in a barrel of #### on this one. That the military would screw up what was a relatively straight-line covert mission against minimal to no resistance? Well, they did manage to lose a helicopter, but thankfully pulled it off otherwise.People want to give this guy a whole lot of credit for something that had the earmarks of missions that the special ops teams train specifically for under conditions that they anticipate completely and recreate extensively in training.Damn, here we go again. I don't want to denegrate Obama in any way on this. He did the right thing and the bad guy met an appropriate end as a result, and best of all there were no US losses other than the helicopter. Again, more power and Bravo! for making that decision.

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I agree with tim. People who describe this decision as a no-brainer are looking at it with 20-20 hindsight. This had the potential to be a complete debacle, and there were other possible options on the table (e.g. a cruise missile strike).Edit: There had to be at least one or two thoughtful, well-regarded people with solid national security credentials involved in this decision who said "Wait -- You mean we're going to send a small ground of special forces troops to raid a compound literally right down the block from a Pakistani military base? Really?" That's not a no-brainer at all.

I think the point people are making is not being explained properly. The decision was a no brainer because if it ever came out (which it likely would at some point) that Obama passed on a chance to take out OBL, he would be done politically and could never recover. Now was the actual detailed decision an easy one, no it was not and I have realized in the last couple of days there was a lot more to it than my first instincts. But still political reality is he had to try to take out OBL and really need physical interaction to verify OBL's death.

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You, me, or anyone else would have made the same decision.How could anyone possibly say, "no thanks, I'll wait."

Jimmy Carter might have offered a contrary view along the lines of "I wish I had waited." If this action had failed the critics would have used that as proof that Democrats can't be trusted to fight the WOT. It was a risky call that if it went wrong would have doomed his reelection chances in 2012.
So put another way, he gambled his election chances on the elite Seal 6 team being able to carry out a badass mission. Not a bad gamble really.

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The decision was a no brainer because if it ever came out (which it likely would at some point) that Obama passed on a chance to take out OBL, he would be done politically and could never recover.

That's not true at all. Considering the target was within another sovereign country.

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I agree with tim. People who describe this decision as a no-brainer are looking at it with 20-20 hindsight. This had the potential to be a complete debacle, and there were other possible options on the table (e.g. a cruise missile strike).Edit: There had to be at least one or two thoughtful, well-regarded people with solid national security credentials involved in this decision who said "Wait -- You mean we're going to send a small ground of special forces troops to raid a compound literally right down the block from a Pakistani military base? Really?" That's not a no-brainer at all.

:goodposting: Political hackers at it's finest. It disappoints me that people are this beholden to "their side" that they can't see this stuff for what it really is.

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I agree with tim. People who describe this decision as a no-brainer are looking at it with 20-20 hindsight. This had the potential to be a complete debacle, and there were other possible options on the table (e.g. a cruise missile strike).Edit: There had to be at least one or two thoughtful, well-regarded people with solid national security credentials involved in this decision who said "Wait -- You mean we're going to send a small ground of special forces troops to raid a compound literally right down the block from a Pakistani military base? Really?" That's not a no-brainer at all.

I agree with this.

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The Navys SEALs got a huge bounce.

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I agree with tim. People who describe this decision as a no-brainer are looking at it with 20-20 hindsight. This had the potential to be a complete debacle, and there were other possible options on the table (e.g. a cruise missile strike).Edit: There had to be at least one or two thoughtful, well-regarded people with solid national security credentials involved in this decision who said "Wait -- You mean we're going to send a small ground of special forces troops to raid a compound literally right down the block from a Pakistani military base? Really?" That's not a no-brainer at all.

I think the point people are making is not being explained properly. The decision was a no brainer because if it ever came out (which it likely would at some point) that Obama passed on a chance to take out OBL, he would be done politically and could never recover. Now was the actual detailed decision an easy one, no it was not and I have realized in the last couple of days there was a lot more to it than my first instincts. But still political reality is he had to try to take out OBL and really need physical interaction to verify OBL's death.
In short: politically = no brainer ; real life = tough choice to make.This is the crap I am talking about....put away the political hackery for just a second and reflect on the real life part of this. That's much more important. It's nice to sit in the ivory tower from time to time, but this isn't one of those times.

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I agree with tim. People who describe this decision as a no-brainer are looking at it with 20-20 hindsight. This had the potential to be a complete debacle, and there were other possible options on the table (e.g. a cruise missile strike).Edit: There had to be at least one or two thoughtful, well-regarded people with solid national security credentials involved in this decision who said "Wait -- You mean we're going to send a small ground of special forces troops to raid a compound literally right down the block from a Pakistani military base? Really?" That's not a no-brainer at all.

+1It always looks easy when it works out the best way. President Obama made a courageous, well-thought decision and it worked out the best way possible.

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I agree with tim. People who describe this decision as a no-brainer are looking at it with 20-20 hindsight. This had the potential to be a complete debacle, and there were other possible options on the table (e.g. a cruise missile strike).Edit: There had to be at least one or two thoughtful, well-regarded people with solid national security credentials involved in this decision who said "Wait -- You mean we're going to send a small ground of special forces troops to raid a compound literally right down the block from a Pakistani military base? Really?" That's not a no-brainer at all.

I think the point people are making is not being explained properly. The decision was a no brainer because if it ever came out (which it likely would at some point) that Obama passed on a chance to take out OBL, he would be done politically and could never recover. Now was the actual detailed decision an easy one, no it was not and I have realized in the last couple of days there was a lot more to it than my first instincts. But still political reality is he had to try to take out OBL and really need physical interaction to verify OBL's death.
In short: politically = no brainer ; real life = tough choice to make.This is the crap I am talking about....put away the political hackery for just a second and reflect on the real life part of this. That's much more important. It's nice to sit in the ivory tower from time to time, but this isn't one of those times.
I'm not sure I concede even the political ease of the decision. This was a huge gamble politically and had a lot more chances to go wrong than to go right. I don't think any part of this was a no brainer really.

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Obama is a very polarizing president. The key will be to see how much he went up among independents.

Clinton wasn't? How about Dubya?Pretty sure the current state of polarization has little to do with Obama.

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So put another way, he gambled his election chances on the elite Seal 6 team being able to carry out a badass mission. Not a bad gamble really.

:goodposting:

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Maybe it's because this isn't the incredibly heroic decision that some are trying to portray it to be. Maybe the predominace of Americans see this as the military doing its job before and after the hit, and Obama simply making a no-brainer decision on it.

Note - that this was a no-brainer does not diminish my admiration of Obama for making it.

The more I read about this action, the more I become convinced that this was a very difficult decision, and quite a risk.

The main reason that Osama was able to elude us for so many years was that we didn't want to interfere too much in Pakistan. Every action we take or don't take with regard to Pakistan has both short and long term security risks. If this mission had failed, it would not simply have resulted in a blown opportunity, it also might have seriously jeapordized our relationship with the Pakistani government. There were several considerations here that could not be made on a military level.

So I reject your interpretation of this event.

The mission was highly successful yet it appears it has still jeopardized our relationship with the Pakistani government over calls that we violated their sovereignty. What's the difference? I get it could have been worse had their been numerous Pakistani civilian deaths, but we're talking degrees of contempt rather than contempt vs. no contempt because there was always going to be contempt regardless of the outcome.

NOTE: I've heard interesting perspectives from ex-military men questioning whether the Pakistan government knew about the mission in advance. If they did, that would also bring the Pakistani claims that America violated their sovereignty into question unless they feel like they were strong-armed into complying.

EDIT: And I agree Obama made a tough yet great decision. Anytime you run the risk of civilian or American military casualties it's a tough call. Obama even had to consider the risk of alienating Pakistan. The above was just to say that any alienation that may occur would occur because of the decision to go in. Not whether it was successful or not.

The reason it didn't jeapordize our relationship with Pakistan more is because we won. You have no idea how important that is diplomatically. Pakistan will live with it because the plan worked. Had the plan failed, there would be anti-American riots in Pakistan right now, increaased public support for the Taliban, and a uniting of moderate elements within the Muslim world at large against "American imperialism."

This really was a huge gamble and very difficult decision for the President. I can't believe people are discounting it.

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