Butter, that question needs to asked of the President and Sec Def Leon Panetta. Depending on the ARG’s location, the MEU could have had a company of Marines on the ground with in an hour or two.
I “floated” in 78 - 79. We also use to practice “NEOPS”... that is: “Non-combatant Evacuation Operations.” These ops are specifically used to help evacuate embassies when it looks like security is going down hill... like maybe in the previous August leading up to this 9-11.
Panetta should be fired!
This is not on Panetta.
This is on the political strategists (who really call the shots in this WH) and the POTUS who listened to them.
Most likely Panetta wanted to do the right thing.