The killing of Osama Bin Laden was obviously a successful operation but what is the key to its success? With this article I will briefly explain my theory behind the success of operation Geronimo.
It is actually as simple as having kept the operation secret from Pakistan and its military. A couple of news articles prompted me to it: one in the Huffington Post and one in Politico. According to the former, “no other intelligence operatives in other countries were told of the attack before it occurred – including Pakistani operatives – according to administration officials.” The latter quoted an intelligence official as saying that “The Pakistanis didn’t know of our interest in this compound”and that the “Pakistani officials did unknowingly provide intelligence that helped pinpoint Bin Laden’s location.”
In my opinion, not letting anyone else know about operation Geronimo is the main reason why it was successful. I have two arguments that justify my theory. The first one is that the less people know about it, the less likely it is to be leaked to Al Quaeda and Osama Bin Laden himself, not to mention that the leak will be all the harder to be detected. In fact, that’s why then terrorist number one used couriers to spread his orders within Al Quaeda instead of being more transparent.
My second argument is that the U.S. intelligence might be somehow aware of how corrupt the Pakistani army is. Osama Bin Laden was living for the course of at least six months in that compound which was about a mile away from a Pakistani military base. While it is possible for an army not to be aware of events close to one of its bases, the look of his compound constantly rang a bell – very tall walls and barbed wire. Such security measures are typical of prisons or rich mansions at best. Whatever the look of the compund means, it was worthy of finding out more about it. Instead, there was no trace of any Pakistani involvement in operation Geronimo besides “unknowingly giving intelligence” to the right people for its success. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was not only “unknowingly” but also unwillingly.