Joe Biden advised Obama against Osama raid as he was worried about failure, reveals former POTUS' memoir
President-elect Joe Biden, the-then vice president, reportedly advised Barack Obama to wait on the Osama bin Laden compound raid because he was worried the mission might fail, according to the former president's new memoir. Obama's new book, 'A Promised Land', scheduled to be released next week on Tuesday, November 17, states that Biden "weighed in against the raid" on May 11, when Navy Seals were sent from Afghanistan to Pakistan to execute the mission.
The former president said that Biden suggested that Obama should take more time to make a decision on the raid, saying: "Don't go." The former vice president reportedly also told Obama to "follow your instincts," The Guardian, which obtained a copy of the memoir, reported. The book stated that at the time the president's top advisers were debating whether their intelligence was strong enough to attack.
When Obama eventually decided to send the Navy Seals in the compound, Biden immediately supported him, the book states. Biden has often been denounced in the political world for his advice to Obama on the bin Laden compound attack. The former vice president, earlier this year, defended himself, claiming that he did not tell Obama not to go for the raid to take out bin Laden.
President-elect Biden, in 2012, told Democrat leaders that Obama, at the time, went around the table asking his top advisers' opinions on the issue. "The president, he went around the table with all the senior people, including the chiefs of staff, and he said, ‘I have to make a decision. What is your opinion?’ He started with the national security adviser, the secretary of state, and he ended with me," Biden recalled. “He said, ‘Joe, what do you think?’ And I said, ‘You know, I didn’t know we had so many economists around the table.’ I said, ‘We owe the man a direct answer. Mr. President, my suggestion is, don’t go. We have to do two more things to see if he’s there.’”
Republicans have often used Biden's this particular advice to Obama to attack the former vice president. Some Republican advertisements against Biden even claimed that he opposed the raid altogether. Both he and Obama have called the claims untrue. The former president, in his memoir, wrote that Biden was concerned about “the enormous consequences of failure” if the raid were to not be successful. The former vice president had said that Obama "should defer any decision until the intelligence community was more certain that bin Laden was in the compound." The raid was eventually successful and bin Laden was killed on May 2, 2011.
"As had been true in every major decision I’d made as president, I appreciated Joe’s willingness to buck the prevailing mood and ask tough questions, often in the interest of giving me the space I needed for my own internal deliberations," Obama wrote in his memoir. The former president added that "as the helicopters took off” after the operation, “Joe placed a hand on my shoulder and squeezed, saying 'Congratulations, boss.'"