President Obama asked that the team going after Osama bin Laden last week be prepared for anything—including fighting their way out of Pakistan, senior administration and military officials told The New York Times.
Two teams were on standby to handle various outcomes, according to the officials: The first was ready to bury bin Laden if he was killed, while the second, made up of lawyers, translators, and interrogators, was ready if he was captured alive.
About 10 days before the raid, Obama also wanted to ensure that the forces would be prepared to fight their way out of Pakistan if necessary. As a result, two more helicopters carrying troops were to supplement the two lead Black Hawk helicopters with the assault team, the Times reported.
“Their instructions were to avoid any confrontation if at all possible. But if they had to return fire to get out, they were authorized to do it,” one senior administration official told the Times.
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