You Weren't so 'FAST' at 3:00 am, Obama...
One of my first thoughts when I heard that our consulate in Benghazi had been overrun with four Americans being killed was, where was FAST (Fleet Anti-terrorist Security Team)?
While I read news reports that special operations units in Europe had been alerted, I couldn't help but wonder, where were the troops specifically trained for such a mission? It wasn't until today that I learned a FAST team had indeed been dispatched to Benghazi, but not until after the fatal attack.
Had minimal foresight been exercised by the Obama administration, one of the most highly-trained and little-known, quick-response specialty units in the Marine Corps could have been on site in anticipation of heightened violence on September 11th, which as my wife reminded me, was the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, making it even more meaningful to Muslim terrorist planners.
The Marine Corps Security Force Regiment, headquartered in the Norfolk, Virginia area, whose primary mission is naval security and anti/counter terrorism, has companies and teams of former infantry Marines who have volunteered or been selected for these specialized operations, spread about the world to protect American interests. These are some very tough, very deadly specialists, heavily trained in CQB, Close Quarters Battle, and SWAT tactics. Had a FAST platoon been on the ground in Libya as a sensible precaution, they, with their naval support, most likely would have made short work of the attacking terrorists and denied the Islamists the triumph of killing an American ambassador.
Since FAST units had already been deployed to multiple locations in North Africa during the various Arab Spring uprisings, it is incomprehensible that no one responsible for diplomatic security saw fit to have, at the minimum, a platoon of these lethal specialists deployed to embassies and consulates throughout that region, at the ready to deal with contingencies that might arise during the 9/11 anniversary.
The FAST company stationed at the naval base in Rota, Spain, some 1500 miles from Libya, is supposed to have several hundred Marines assigned. The FAST company at Manama, Bahrain may be even closer. Just fifty of those heavily-armed, fierce defenders from either base could have made a huge difference, perhaps even deterring any attack at all by their very presence. Further, FAST units are sometimes deployed afloat with the fleet, meaning that there may have been one of these teams aboard a ship much closer to the site of the attack at the time it commenced.
What is truly amazing, and will be infinitely more difficult for the Obama administration to explain, is that an available force of Marines, specifically trained in embassy and consulate defense, was not alerted and in the air immediately when the first shot was fired in Benghazi. Instead, they were only ordered in after the battle was concluded and four Americans lay dead. Reports coming out now verify that personnel in the consulate sought reinforcements for almost seven hours without success.
America failed to support her outposts on foreign ground at a time when the locals were demonstrably hostile. It would appear that Hillary's campaign ad was prescient; Obama did indeed get that 3:00 am call when Americans were in harm's way:
And, as his fellow-Democrat, now Secretary of State, had predicted four years ago, it went unanswered.