Why US Special Forces failed to rescue James Foley

The failed attempt to rescue journalist James Foley before he was killed by Islamic State militants – and the ongoing efforts to track down other American hostages before it’s too late – illustrate a glaring shortcoming in US military capabilities: that good US military intelligence on these militant groups is in short supply.  Although the Pentagon greenlighted the deployment of Special Operations Forces (SOF) to Syria – along with the US military’s most high-tech air and ground components – the mission did not result in a rescue.  The Pentagon’s unusual confirmation of a failed Special Forces mission – made at the behest of the White House – was in large part an effort to reassure the American public that the United States has not sat idly by during the meteoric rise of the Islamic State (IS).  “Was this a failure of intelligence?

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