Though they have not been ordered to prepare for a rescue mission for the girls abducted from a Nigerian school, some special operations commanders are worried they will be – all because of the hashtag campaign, #bringbackourgirls.
Last month, 276 girls were abducted by Islamic militant group Boko Haram from their school in northeast Nigeria.
According to NBC News, special operations commanders said they think that a rescue mission to #bringbackourgirls might be in the future.
And because of that, the commanders in charge of the Navy SEALs, Delta Force and Ranger Regiment are preparing and notifying their men to be ready. They’re assuming “the hashtag will bring us out.”
One unidentified military official said, “We’re being tweeted into combat.”
But the White House and Pentagon are adamant that the U.S. will not use a military operation to bring the girls back, with White House spokesman Jay Carney saying, “at this point, we’re not actively considering the deployment of U.S. forces to participate in a combined rescue mission.”
Though they’re not pursuing a military operation at the moment, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said unarmed drones and surveillance aircraft are assisting in the search.
One source said, “There is a logic building that it took U.S. 10 years to search for Osama bin Laden and then we found him, so why not spend a few months looking for the girls in Nigeria and find them too?”
But Medal of Honor recipient and NBC News’ military analyst retired Col. Jack Jacobs said that the tactical difficulty of an operation to rescue the girls would be overwhelming.
Jacobs said they would first need evidence on the exact location, plus the number of girls and captors — information that is difficult to get and verify. They would also need to simultaneously raid all the locations the girls are being held.
“Otherwise, a single radio call from one camp would doom the other hostages,” Jacobs said. “And you would have to be prepared for the deaths of some – even most – of the girls. This would be a raid infinitely more difficult than the one to capture Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and one that would almost surely to end in tears.”
Still, some in the special operations community think that the order to #bringbackourgirls will eventually come.