The success of the Abbottabad mission can be largely attributed to correcting the mistakes made in April 1980 during Operation Eagle Claw ordered by President Carter where an ad hoc joint task force was tasked to rescue American hostages being held in the US Embassy in Teheran. The highly complex mission was planned over two nights and involved six helicopters landing at a hiding site near Teheran, a ground assault of the American Embassy building, capture of the Manzariyeh air base and recovery of the hostages by a C-141 heavy lift transport aircraft. The mission was a complete disaster and the operation had to be called off due to the collision of a helicopter and a C-130 Hercules aircraft at the first staging post, Desert One. A high powered team led by Admiral James Holloway (Retd.) made an independent appraisal of the rescue mission for improving future US counter terrorist capability and conducted an examination of the planning, organisation, coordination, direction, and control of the mission to recommend improvements in these areas for operations in the future.
The Holloway report’s main recommendation was the establishment of an independent counter terrorist agency with permanently assigned personnel and assets. Over the years this evolved into the US Joint Special Operations Command with its own land, sea and air assets placed under a unified command with responsibility for conduct of all special operations.