US Won’t Review Policy After Getting Hostages Killed in Yemen Raid

Hagel: No Need to Rethink Policy

Over a 10-day span, the US failed to rescue hostage US journalist Luke Somers, leading Yemen’s al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to threaten to execute him if a ransom wasn’t paid by weeks end, then botched a second raid which got Somers and a South African teacher both killed.

Yet not only is the administration not apologizing for their failures in the raid, they’re denying that any failures happened at all. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel insisted that there was “no need” to review the policy at all, insisting it was “as thorough as can be.”

The death of Somers in the second botched raid led to criticism from his family, and the death of the South African in the raid was a huge deal, as AQAP had already agreed to release him the following morning.

The US shrugged this off too, insisting they didn’t know the South African was about to be released, and speculating that his release might not’ve gone smoothly if the US hadn’t gotten him killed.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.