Free Markets, Free People


Mission creep or lack of a mission?

You can this coming from a mile off:

As rebel forces backed by allied warplanes pushed toward one of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s most crucial bastions of support, the American military warned on Monday that the insurgents’ rapid advances could quickly be reversed without continued coalition air support.

“The regime still vastly overmatches opposition forces militarily,” Gen. Carter F. Ham, the ranking American in the coalition operation, warned in an email message on Monday. “The regime possesses the capability to roll them back very quickly. Coalition air power is the major reason that has not happened.”

Uh, okay, I accept the fact that without the coalition attacking Gadhafi ground units, the “rebels” wouldn’t be able to “advance” or enjoy any gains whatsoever.

But wasn’t the ostensible reason for establishing the no-fly zone and the reason for the UN mission to protect civilians from being killed by their government?  Hasn’t that been accomplished?

So why do we care if “rebel advances” might be “quickly…reversed”?

Unless, of course, the real purpose of the mission, under the flag of “protecting civilians” is to run Gadhafi out of power?  And, one then assumes, install a different government (the “rebels” one supposes, of whom we know very little except they come from an area that was one of the major provider of jihadists to Iraq and Afghanistan and one of their leaders admits to having served there in that capacity).

Then and only then does a concern for the state of the “rebel” advance make any sense or have any meaning at all.

General Ham’s warning, however, offered a somber counterpoint and underscored the essential role of Western airstrikes, now focused mainly on Colonel Qaddafi’s ground troops, in reversing the rebels’ fortunes. It also framed anew the question of how the poorly equipped and disorganized rebel forces might fare against Colonel Qaddafi’s garrison in Surt, where air cover may be less useful.

Wait, wait … again, if the mission is the protection of civilians who cares how the “poorly equipped and disorganized rebel forces” might fare anywhere?

That only matters if there’s a mission in addition to the stated one, i.e. protecting civilians.

Oh, and what happens if the “rebels”, in their push into territory mostly deemed to be that of Gadhafi supporters, begin killing civilians?  Do we hit the “rebels” then?  Or are civilians only a concern when Gadhafi’s military kills them?

Some will argue that the UN resolution authorized “all necessary measures” to protect civilians in Libya.  I assume the follow on argument is that the best way to “protect civilians” is to take sides and topple Gadhafi?

That’s certainly not how this war was described in the beginning – you know a “limited time, limited scope military action”?  We were assured that it wouldn’t take long and it would only seek to keep the Libyan government from killing civilians.

Now we seem to be hinting around about the need for our airpower to support the cause of a rebellion that has the possibility – because they are so poorly equipped, untrained and disorganized – of lasting for months, if not years.

As you can tell, there are far more questions than apparent answers.  I’m looking forward to Obama’s speech tonight.  It should be an interesting affair.  He’s got to communicate why he went to war, why UN sanctioning was sufficient for committing us to war, why he didn’t consult or seek Congressional approval, what the mission in Libya is and what the end state of that mission should be as well as an exit strategy.

Anyone want to bet how many of those questions will still remain unanswered after the speech?

~McQ

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14 Responses to Mission creep or lack of a mission?

  • Pres**ent Obama will tell all about this tonight … or he will tell us why none of his “bracket” picks are in the NCAA basketball “final four.”

  • I wonder if he’ll get mad at us for not seeing the wisdom of his vision.  I look forward to his frowny face looking down his nose at us as he sets us straight.

    Maybe there’s time for them to set up a ‘ruins of Leptis Magna’ as a backdrop theme so we understand the true historical significance of his decision.

    Qaddafi delenda est!

    • I much prefer the upturned neo-Benito look myself. I wonder if anyone in the White House has ever taken him aside and said, “You know that thing where you tilt your head up while making a speech. Here’s a picture of another famous self satisfied politician who did the same thing. Maybe, you don’t want to do that. Sir.”
       

      • Ah, see the difference, Benito would have had a model of an intact Leptis Magna instead of a ruined one!

        I shouldn’t be so critical, maybe he does the head tilt thing because he’s shortsighted and he’s trying to see what the puppet master’s are typing for him on the teleprompter.

      • I have been wondering if I was the only one to see the resemblance. There is one picture I have been looking for, a full profile, that is an almost identical pose.

        • I think I know the photo. And that was when it hit me, he looks like old Musso in that pose. Just like you I thought it was peculiar to me. I guess I should trust my gut more.

        • Nope, I noticed it, too.

          Come to think of it, didn’t Il Duce also have a thing about trains?

  • Generally, I’ve been supportive of getting Qadaffi. After all, we owe him a large debt and accounts must be paid.

    But this is a case of the tail wagging the dog. Someone needs to grab the rebels by the stacking swivel and explain the facts of life. Starting out with the gross incompetence of their military operations. After the failure of their first offensive, they need to take some time to train, equip and organize. Time is actually on their side.
    If the military chiefs had any common sense, they’d call Ham and tell him to lay off the ground attack air support. It’s going to cause more trouble than it’s worth and it’s only encouraging the rebels to engage in militarily stupid action.

  • Just keep both sides about even so that they can kill each other without bothering anyone else.

  • And dammit!  now they have me agreeing with the Russians.….

  • McQBut wasn’t the ostensible reason for establishing the no-fly zone and the reason for the UN mission to protect civilians from being killed by their government?  Hasn’t that been accomplished?

    If you believe that the regime, staffed by people like the Hilldabeast, Susan Wright, Valerie Jarrette, et al and led by Barack Hussein Obama, has an ounce of honesty or integrity, then, yeah, it IS kind of a poser.

    If you’ve got a realistic view of these people as dishonest and incompetent, then it all falls into place.

    McQ[W]hat happens if the “rebels”, in their push into territory mostly deemed to be that of Gadhafi supporters, begin killing civilians?  Do we hit the “rebels” then?  Or are civilians only a concern when Gadhafi’s military kills them?


    Some animals are more equal than others.

  • Doublespeak. Which will work right up until the rebels do something bad or we have to bomb something in Tripoli and civilians are killed. But the rebels may not do anything bad, even the AQ guys. Kaddafy may have managed to anger enough people over the years that the coalition will be made to get rid of him. Then, the big question, is what happens after the fall? Will the rebels allow the UN to hold elections? Will they start infighting?
    I am sure that Obama et al think our operations will be over soon, and it very well might if Kaddafy’s supporters start to waver. Has the ICC indicted him yet? I suppose not as they move slower than molasses.
    What will be Obama’s excuse for not intervening if the Rebels win, but then have internal strife themselves? I guess we just wing it.