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På president Barack Obamas direkte ordre ble den amerikanske styrken økt slik at den hadde ildkraft nok til å skyte seg ut av Pakistan, om nødvendig. Obama ville forsikre seg om at Navy SEALS ikke ble overmannet.

Obama anså eliminering av eller pågripelsen av Osama bin Laden for så viktig at han var villig til å risikere en militær konfrontasjon med Pakistan.

Amerikanerne turde ikke fortelle pakistanerne om operasjonen. Risikoen var derfor til stede for at pakistanerne kunne komme til gå til angrep på amerikanerne. I så fall skulle amerikanske styrker kunne skyte seg ut. Obama bemyndiget et slikt svar som trolig ville ført til et brudd i forbindelsene.

Under the original plan, two assault helicopters were going to stay on the Afghanistan side of the border, waiting for a call if they were needed. But the aircraft would have been about 90 minutes away from the bin Laden compound.

About 10 days before the raid, Obama reviewed the plans and pressed his commanders as to whether they were bringing along enough forces to fight their way out if the Pakistanis arrived on the scene and attempted to interfere with the operation.

That resulted in the decision to send two more helicopters carrying additional troops. These followed the two lead Black Hawk helicopters that carried the actual assault team. Although there was no confrontation with the Pakistanis, one of those backup helicopters was ultimately brought in to the scene of the raid when a Black Hawk was damaged while making a hard landing.

“Some people may have assumed we could talk our way out a jam, but given our difficult relationship with Pakistan right now, the president did not want to leave anything to chance,’’ said one senior administration official, who like others would not be quoted by name in describing details of the secret mission. “He wanted extra forces if they were necessary.’’

Ny informasjon viser at det sto to team i beredskap, det ene forberedt på å begrave al Qaida-lederen, det andre på å forhøre ham. Man forberedte begge eventualiteter.

In revealing additional details about planning for the mission, senior officials also said that two teams of specialists were on standby: one to bury bin Laden if he was killed, and a second composed of lawyers, interrogators, and translators in case he was captured alive. That team was set to meet aboard a Navy ship, most likely the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson in the North Arabian Sea.

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