You might have expected the CIA was already on the ground in Libya. Maybe so. But now the Obama Administration is at minimum using CIA agents in Libya to gather intelligence and coordinate with rebels. The New York Times reports British MI6 and British special forces are in Libya with the special forces calling in air strikes and tracking Libyan government troop movements.
Obama so far denies he wants to overthrow Khadafy and he's just trying to protect the civilians. So he's lying, boxed in by his desire to portray his foreign policy as less aggressive and more respectful of the sovereignty of other nations than George W. Bush's. Yet Obama does not want Libya to become yet another long running American war in the Middle East with lots of chaos and decay. Therefore he needs Qadafi's regime to fall - and quickly before his coalition falls apart. So, all his rhetoric aside, the US and its allies are going to help the rebels in more ways.
The Brits (who are running low on pilots for the air campaign) and probably the French as well are already using spies and special forces to topple Gaddafi. Plus, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will probably provide weapons to the rebels.
The US voted for a UN Security Council resolution that authorized the air war while at the same time disallowing outside support for either side in Libya. But now it looks like the US, France, Britain, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar will violate the the very Security Council resolution they are currently using to legitimize the air war. Is that cool, or what?
Hypocrisy in the service of what? The rebels are lame. In spite of impressive air support and capture of a number of tanks and Grad rocket systems, the rebels are once again in retreat, abandoning cities they had just recaptured yet again. With massive air superiority they can't even hold ground? Lame, lame, lame.
Remember when the White House was trying to portray the US role in the air strikes as minimal? As recently as March 19, 2011 Obama tried to portray US involvement in Libya as a support role which would not involve US troops on the ground. So he'll have to use mercenaries.
Good afternoon, everybody. Today I authorized the Armed Forces of the United States to begin a limited military action in Libya in support of an international effort to protect Libyan civilians. That action has now begun.
As a part of this effort, the United States will contribute our unique capabilities at the front end of the mission to protect Libyan civilians, and enable the enforcement of a no-fly zone that will be led by our international partners. And as I said yesterday, we will not -- I repeat -- we will not deploy any U.S. troops on the ground.
If Obama sticks with that promise either the Brits and French will have to send in many more special forces or it is time for professional mercenaries to get paid to fight for the rebels.
Here is an incredible irony: By trying to avoid leading a coalition Obama managed to create the smallest coalition out of any US intervention of the last 20 years. His very attempt at multilateralism made the coalition must less multi.
President Obama has touted his emphasis on multilateralism in the U.S. military intervention in Libya, but — for political, operational and legal reasons — his “coalition of the willing” is smaller than any major multilateral operation since the end of the Cold War.
Half-hearted commitment to half measures leads to failure.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2011 March 30 09:37 PM MidEast Insurgencies|