Nobody is a bigger fan of dropping bombs on unelected wog dictators and their vile henchmen than me, but I do not think I am alone in wondering just what in the wide wide world of sports we are doing in Libya. Our military has been engaged in “time-limited, scope-limited” kinetic action (but not a war, surely not no) for a solid 90 days with little to show for it but some bad PR, raising the stature of a still defiant wog dictator, depleted PGM stocks and a double handful of dead civilians.
No matter what thread you tug at, the story unravels into pure farce.
We have stated no clear political goals for this action. Our dependent allies have been exposed as comically unable to sustain a meaningful sortie tempo beyond their boarders against a fourth rate IADS. The faction we have backed is increasingly revealed to be unsavory in racially ironic ways.
As Clausewitz explained hundreds of years ago, and Mahan more recently, war is not about the means, but the ends. We do not send our forces to clash with our opposition for the sake of destroying their men and equipment, but to force a political correction on the enemy via that destruction. In the absence of a declared, required change in our enemy’s political condition, war is obscene, pointless murder and the futile risk of our servicemen and equipment.
Military action in Libya may or may not advance our Nation’s interests, and our Commander in Chief ought to express an opinion one way or another. Instead, we are presented with the puzzling declaration that “We are not engaged in militarily-driven regime change.”. How, then, shall we to enforce our will? By destroying the dictator’s forces and materiel? What is to prevent him from obtaining more? Do we really think he will run out of soldiers, camels and AKs before we run out of JDAMs? What does this telegraph to our other current and future enemies?
If the situation in Libya presents enough risk to our national security to justify the use of force, then the President should articulate these reasons, seek Congressional approval and direct his subordinates to decisively prosecute the operation in the most efficient manner possible. I don’t see how this procedure is at all controversial and is probably the least worst way for a Republic to wage war, but instead, this administration has mumble mouthed and prevaricated about the reasons for engagement, dodged its statutory requirements to Congress and engaged the enemy in a timid, irresolute manner that only serves to maximize both the risk to our forces and the unintended consequences on the ground by needlessly prolonging the hostilities.
This is what happens when you let hippies run a war, folks.