The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Daily Libya Update

Posted on | April 14, 2011 | 4 Comments

If it’s Thursday, it’s a hopeless stalemate:

Calls to arm Libya’s rebels and ramp up airstrikes have put the Obama administration on the defensive, after the U.S. dialed back its role in the military campaign last week.

Without the U.S., NATO is worthless:

President Barack Obama’s insistence that NATO, not the U.S., take the lead in attacking Moammar Gadhafi’s military is exposing a hard truth about an alliance that never before fought an air campaign with the U.S. in a back seat. Even against an enemy as weak as Libya, NATO needs the backbone of U.S. might to fight effectively.
It’s not a matter of NATO’s 27 non-U.S. member countries having too few combat aircraft, pilots or bombs. The problem instead is that while some, such as France and Britain, are willing to participate fully, others have limited their roles to noncombat action, and still others have decided not to participate militarily at all.

And there’s more:

NATO’s internal debate over Libya has now broken into public view, with Britain and France publicly blaming other members for the slow pace of the bombing campaign. The Brits and French are right, but the real problem here is a military intervention with half-hearted U.S. involvement and incompatible goals. Moammar Gadhafi must be smiling at his luck. . . .
If the U.S., France and Britain can’t topple a tinhorn despot like Gadhafi who is loathed by most of his own people, the damage to Western credibility will be severe and long-lasting.

There weren’t any reports last night of major ground actions on the Brega/Ajdabiya front. It appears that Qaddafi’s forces are licking their wounds and regrouping after the weekend battle at Ajdabiya. The fighting continues in Misrata, where rebels are besieged by Qaddafi’s army. And at a meeting in Qatar of allies supporting the Libya rebels, there was talk of loaning the rebels $2 billion.


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