At his press conference the other day, President Barack Obama said of the war in Libya that “there’s no risks of additional escalation. This operation is limited in time and in scope.” That is, the kinetic military action begun over three months ago that was originally supposed to last “days, not weeks.” Continue reading “Libya: No risks of additional escalation”
The madness continues in Libya, and regarding Libya. It’s no kind of war at all, says President Obama. The American military activity he has authorized in Libya doesn’t come under the purview of the War Powers Resolution, and therefore doesn’t require the approval of the U.S. Congress, because …
U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve the presence of U.S. ground troops, U.S. casualties or a serious threat thereof.
See: U.S. forces might have bombed and shot at Libyans quite a bit early on, and may potentially do so again if circumstances demand it, but Col. Gaddafi and his forces understand that it’s just not appropriate to shoot back, and actually injuring or killing any Americans engaged in this operation against them would be a completely unacceptable faux pas. Therefore, no war. Continue reading “Libya: What kind of damned war is this?”
File it under, “What a way to run a war.” A file that should be bursting at the seams after the last several weeks of outright lunacy.
From the BBC: Nato appeals for more fighter aircraft.
Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has told a foreign ministers’ summit the alliance needs “a few more” aircraft for its mission in Libya.
Mr Rasmussen said he had received no “specific pledges or promises from this meeting” in Berlin, but he remained hopeful.
He said Nato would continue “day by day, strike by strike” to target forces loyal to Col Muammar Gaddafi.
Britain and France have been trying to persuade other Nato members to do more.
Mr Rasmussen told the meeting that Nato supreme commander Adm James Stavridis was “generally content” with his forces.[…]
“To avoid civilian casualties we need very sophisticated equipment so we need a few more precision fighter ground attack aircraft for air-to-ground missions.”
He added: “I am confident that nations will step up to the plate.”[…]
Some assessments suggest that Nato only needs about a dozen or so extra strike aircraft to maintain the tempo of operations.
It’s about maintaining the tempo of operations. No one even mentions any kind of concept vaguely related to victory. War, for this crop of leaders, has truly been reduced to a game, albeit one in which they want their fellow contestants to participate more than they do. Insert quantity of planes in slot A, to get desired result from vending slot B. Except that no one can even say what the desired result is! And of-course, you don’t actually call it a war. It’s nothing so dramatic and violent as all that. It’s merely a perfectly reasonable activity where everything is under control and proceeding in an orderly fashion.
To say that hubris is running amok here would be a significant understatement.
Rewinding a few weeks, President Obama had a decision to make in response to the attempted revolution in Libya. He could have said, “We watch events with concern. We will use all the diplomatic and economic means at our disposal to influence the situation, but (let me be clear!) this is not a case where U.S. military power will be used.” There’s a strong argument to be made that that would have been the correct approach. After all, U.S. forces are fighting in Afghanistan, are still in harm’s way in Iraq, and have been in action against al-Qaeda types with varying degrees of secrecy in other locales, including East Africa and Yemen. North Korea continues to represent a potential war that might explode at any minute; and then there are all the humanitarian missions the U.S. military is performing, and so on. In other words, there were very good reasons for Defense Secretary Robert Gates to be extremely reluctant to get U.S. forces engaged in Libya at all. Continue reading “Obama’s calibration on Gaddafi and Libya”