Well, Obama promised us that if he were elected, we’d no longer be in two wars at the same time, so he started another one. We have yet to hear from The One We’ve Been Waiting For exactly what Vital National Interest is being served by being drug into enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya. The French and British seem to feel that it is Of The Utmost Importance that Qadaffi be prevented from putting an end to the current uprising. The Germans wanted no part of the action whatsoever. The Arab League were all for it until they found out that it involved bombing a fellow Arab nation by non-Arabs, so they’ve been in full retreat.
France has also now declared that she does not want to lead this effort, nor does she want some sort of NATO-led effort. What France is proposing is some sort of supra-NATO committee composed of representatives of the belligerents, plus the Arab League and who knows who else.
What remains the most unclear is “Why Libya?” Obama had this to say:
Obama explained that the U.S. is acting as part of a broad international coalition that agreed Qadhafi — who answered a pro-democracy rebellion against him with brutal violence — must be stopped.
“Our military action is in support of an international mandate from the [United Nations] Security Council that specifically focuses on the humanitarian threat posed by Colonel Qadhafi to his people,” the American president said. “Not only was he carrying out murders of civilians, but he threatened more.”
Left unsaid is exactly how the situation in Libya differs from that in Iran last year or in Bahrain now. Qadaffi/Libya is a known state sponsor of terrorism, but then so is Iran. Qadaffi is violently suppressing a popular rebellion, but then so is Bahrain and so was Iran, yet we remain spectacularly uninvolved in either.
Meanwhile, our pilots have a herculean task ahead of them, and I’m not talking about merely avoiding antiaircraft fire.
Once committed to hitting enemy forces on the ground, though, U.S. leaders faced a problem built into the U.N. mandate to protect civilians. Are opposition fighters civilians? Are they military? What about civilians who are loyal to Gadhafi? Do they warrant protection, too? Gen. Ham, speaking to reporters from his headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, on Monday, had some difficulty sorting it out.
Essentially, they are required to somehow divine the intentions of groups of people they see on the ground while flying past them at several hundred mph.
What this all boils down to is we’ve managed to become entangled in some multinational feel-good group hug whose strategic intent has yet to be determined and whose overall goal is completely unknown. The Chicagoboyz (no relation to the President or his fellow travelers) have come up with a set of outcomes ranging from total American victory
1) Qadaffi dead or fled and,
2) A stable successor state that is not a terrorist haven, and,
3) A democracy.
to total American defeat.
1) Qadaffi survives in power
We all need to pray for our great nation; she’s gonna need it.
n.b. The above really only discusses pretty high-level foreign policy aspects of Obama’s Excellent Libyan Adventure. More info can be found at:
http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20110321-libya-west-narrative-democracy (always a good source)
http://tigerhawk.blogspot.com/2011/03/morning-read-stratfor-on-libya-west-and.html (very link-rich)
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=213195 (the always informative Caroline Glick)
Here are a couple of links for some domestic policy (such as it is or is not) discussion: