27 April 2009

Most Disastrous Rescues

(From RealClearWorld)

Last week -- in honor of Captain Richard Phillips' courageous naval rescue from Somali pirates -- the editorial staff of RealClearWorld featured the world's top five most daring hostage rescues. From the clever, bloodless rescue of FARC hostages in Colombia, to the daring Israeli raid of Entebbe, our staff's selections highlighted the kind of bravery and ingenuity often demonstrated by soldiers and civilians all over the globe.

However, for every mission deemed a success, many more often fail. The calculated risk and planning that goes into a hostage rescue is often immense; the consequences for failing dire. When successful, these acts of heroism deserve their share of praise. But the dangers involved often render such missions futile, leaving leaders embarrassed and perpetrators emboldened.

Some of these attempts -- such as the 2002 Nord-Ost Siege in Moscow -- end with mixed and controversial results, often calling into question the tactics and planning invested into the mission.

It's our hope in compiling this list that we can show the other side to these calculated gambits, and hopefully, accentuate those rare and remarkable rescues that actually succeed.

No. 5 Waco (1993)

20 April 2009

Most Daring Hostage Rescues

(From RealClearWorld)

When U.S. Navy SEALs shot and killed three Somali pirates and rescued Captain Richard Phillips on April 12, it was hailed as a great hostage recovery mission. It had all the elements of cunning, surprise and precision that such operations demand to be carried out successfully.

Over the last half century, as terrorism has become a global plague, major governments have set up special forces to deal with just these kinds of crises. Highly-skilled and vigorously trained commandos have rescued hostages from hijacked planes, buildings to mountain-side camps and the high seas. These missions can sometimes turn deadly and become complete failures, with lasting political consequences.

The editors at RealClearWorld have reviewed more than a dozen famed hostage-rescue missions and based on the circumstances, the degree of success and locations of these rescues, the following five come out at the top of our list:

No. 5 Operation Isotope (1972)