An aggressive, confrontational Donald Trump forcing Obama to act against bin Laden.
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates in his duplicitous best selling book "Duty" laughably praises Barack Obama, one of the weakest, naivest and strategically inept presidents in our history, for his "decisive leadership" in military and foreign affairs; and for authorizing the fatal raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan which he said was "one of the most courageous calls-decisions-I have ever seen a president make." Gate's, of course, was being too kind to his old boss and couldn't have been serious. For the excessive length of time it took our "decisive leader" to find the courage to move against bin Laden could have blown the mission with the arch-terrorist escaping to safety and being alive today. Thank God it didn't turn out that way. Thank God for Donald Trump. Indeed, what Gates doesn't say, and few realize today, is that some of the credit for Obama making the crucial decision when he did should go to Trump who literally lit a fire under him and unintentionally got him to act. This is what I mean:
Months and months of painful dithering and indecisiveness preceded the raid on bin Laden's compound until politics forced Obama to get off his butt and act. Indeed, from the CIA's tracking of bin Laden's courier (his identity was discovered in 2007) to the door of his boss's hideout in August 2010, and from there to the deadly raid in early May was a very long and risky seven perilous months. By mid-September CIA spooks surveiling the compound from a safe house near by had determined that its occupant was a high value target that most likely was the ultimate prize: Osama bin Laden. But that wasn't good enough for Obama. He wanted solid, irrefragable proof that the al Qaida chief was there before taking action.
Behold the Mohammed Ali of American wartime leaders. He floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee. Ain't he pretty?
But proof was not forthcoming. From mid-September to early May when the raid was made the CIA utilizing all of its technology and gadgets (and a Paki doctor who's now in jail) could not positively ID the "high value target" as bin Laden. In the meantime, while Obama was dithering, OBL (or whatever terrorist could have been in the place) could have been planning devastating strikes on Americans; or he could have gotten away as his allies in the Paki intel community who were protecting him (it's inconceivable no one knew) could have learned about the CIA operation and tipped him off.
From all that we know about George Bush and John McCain there is little doubt that if they had been president when OBL's compound was found the raid on the "high value target who was probably bin Laden" would have occurred before Christmas 2010. But Obama wouldn't act unless he had proof. Gates, Hillary Clinton and CIA chief Panetta must have been tearing out their hair urging Obama to act by either obliterating the compound in a missile strike or sending in the Seals. But Obama demanding proof wouldn't budge. Indeed, according to author Richard Miniter (see), as early as January 2010 (and possibly before) Seal Team Six was ready to swing into action and strike. But three times Obama (paralyzed with fear) put off the mission.
However, on the political front (and fortunate for America and the War on Terror) Donald Trump (a potential presidential candidate) was raising cain over two hot issues: Obama's birth place and his feckless foreign policy leadership embarrassing our country and hurting our standing in the world. In March 2011 Trump was all over the media giving interviews and making speeches blasting Obama for refusing to show proof that he was born in the States by issuing his long form birth certificate; and for his feckless leadership on the world stage which was costing us the trust of friends and the fear and respect of foes. And Trump was damn effective as his relentless attacks were taking a toll on public opinion and the polls.
It was no coincidence that sometime in April a desperate and panicking Barack Obama fearing defeat in 2012 made two decisions to quiet Trump, Hannity, Limbaugh and Republican critics: release a (fake) copy of his long form birth certificate, and to raid bin Laden's compound. Indeed, it was not by chance that the two occurred within 120 hours of each other, with the certificate issued on April 27th and the raid happening less than five full days later.