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March 19, 2011

Is "Regime Change" The End Game In Libya?

What's the outcome of this mission? According to Marc Ambinder's sources, getting rid of Qadaffi.

End game? Admin official says: "we have multiple scenarios, but none of them end with Qadaffi in power."

Might be nice if the President mentioned that at some point, no?

As for the US military role, right now according Vice Adm. William Gortney, Director of the Joint Staff we're taking the lead but will hand it over to our allies soon.

But echoing comments made by President Obama this afternoon, Gortney said the United States will bring its “unique capabilities” to the front end of the operation to enable the enforcement of a no-fly zone led by international partners. Gortney acknowledged that the U.S. military command and control and logistics capabilities could be tapped for the operation, as well as its aerial refueling tanker fleet.

The airstrikes began after the sun had set in Libya, delaying the damage assessment for several hours. Once coalition forces confirm that Libya’s surface to air assets have been taken out, the U.S. military could deploy Global Hawk unmanned surveillance aircraft for the assessment, in addition to other assets, Gortney said. That would presumably include satellite imagery.

The coalition includes U.S., British, French, Italian and Canadian forces, in addition to other countries—including Arab nations—who have asked not to be named publicly yet.

Meanwhile, the President explains from Rio why we are doing this.

I am deeply aware of the risks of any military action, no matter what limits we place on it. I want the American people to know that the use of force is not our first choice and it’s not a choice that I make lightly. But we cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people that there will be no mercy, and his forces step up their assaults on cities like Benghazi and Misurata, where innocent men and women face brutality and death at the hands of their own government.

...I've acted after consulting with my national security team, and Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress. And in the coming hours and days, my administration will keep the American people fully informed. But make no mistake: Today we are part of a broad coalition. We are answering the calls of a threatened people. And we are acting in the interests of the United States and the world.

This whole notion of "acting in the interests of the United States" is simply argument by assertion. What interests? How will the US be impacted at all if Gadaffi stays or goes?

If there's any "doctrine" here it's, "We are answering the calls of a threatened people." If that's really the standard we better hope like hell the North Koreans, Cubans, Chinese, Saudis, et al don't manage to get on Skype and get people on their side. If they do, we may find ourselves in a lot of wars.

Amazing that this is the President who went out for ice cream while Iranians were begging for some supportive words while they were being slaughtered by their government but now we jump into a war with no debate and no discussion of the parameters or end state.


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posted by DrewM. at 05:49 PM

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