Obama exit strategy: sticking around

posted at 12:15 pm on March 23, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama tried to convince Univision last night that the US has an exit strategy from the Libya conflict, and that strategy is to, er, stick around and fight.  Jake Tapper calls it a Lewis Carroll moment, while others might consider it more Orwellian:

In an interview with Univision Tuesday, President Obama re-defined the term “exit strategy,” and said our exit strategy in Libya would begin this week.

“The exit strategy will be executed this week,” President Obama said, “in the sense that we will be pulling back from our much more active efforts to shape the environment. We will still be in a support role. We will be supplying jamming, intelligence and other assets unique to us.”

Planes in the air? Ships in the Mediterranean? Intelligence being provided? Doesn’t sound like an exit strategy at all.

What it does recall is Lewis Carroll.

“‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

Tapper goes on to heap more scorn on Obama’s sudden embrace of the non-exit exit strategy, so be sure to read it all.  And he’s right to do so: an exit strategy is just that: a strategy towards an exit.  What Obama is attempting to sell is a handoff of responsibility for military leadership to someone else, anyone else.

It’s not the only point of confusion about Obama’s aims, either.  Even before this conflict, people expressed puzzlement over what an Obama Doctrine that would explain his foreign policy would comprise.  That ambiguity, sold as “nuance” before the Libya attack, now looks more like a chaotic muddle:

But on Libya, Obama’s opacity is coming back to haunt him, as critics from both parties press him on his rationale for taking action and for a more specific articulation of his vision for American goals and aspirations in the Mideast and elsewhere.

Politico’s Glenn Thrush spins this heavily towards nuance, but calling an ambiguous plan for long-term involvement an “exit strategy” reveals that this President has no idea what he wants or how to get it.  Instead of having some semblance of a foreign policy plan, Obama and his team are playing it by ear — an obvious conclusion based on the no-we-won’t-oh-wait-yes-we-will vacillation on Libya that put American forces in position to start a mission whose window for success had already closed.

Update: Jazz Shaw writes today about the blatant hypocrisy at the heart of the UN “R2P” doctrine on which Obama relied.


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Dems with any instinct for survival have got to be thinking he needs to be primaried.

txmomof6 on March 23, 2011 at 12:19 PM

His exit strategy is the troops will exit the planes and appear on the ground.

mizflame98 on March 23, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Jake Tapper calls it a Lewis Carroll moment, while others might consider it more Orwellian:

Why does “Orwellian” seem to crop up so much in the context of Dear Liar.

Even before this conflict, people expressed puzzlement over what an Obama Doctrine that would explain his foreign policy would comprise. That ambiguity, sold as “nuance” before the Libya attack, now looks more like a chaotic muddle:

His foreign policy has always been “I lived for a time as a kid in Indonesia, and I’m not George W. Bush.”

rbj on March 23, 2011 at 12:21 PM

President Scare Crow. If he only had a brain.

Slowburn on March 23, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Yay, we destroyed a few trucks, burned some tents, scattered a few bunkers over the landscape and will soon leave as victors.

Then Daffo can move back in and show just how badly defeated he was by slaughtering anyone and everyone who stood against him.

Smart Power.

Bishop on March 23, 2011 at 12:22 PM

“Did I do that?”
–Steve Urkel

Emperor Norton on March 23, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Obama and his team are playing it by ear

Hard to do when you are tone deaf.

Warmongering The Future!

GnuBreed on March 23, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Our odyssey is only in it’s morning stages.

MNHawk on March 23, 2011 at 12:24 PM

I am trying to see how we get out of this thing myself.

Quit and declare we won? That would be a consistently Democrat way.

I think we are headed toward a terrible national embarrassment.

petunia on March 23, 2011 at 12:24 PM

an exit strategy is just that: a strategy towards an exit. What Obama is attempting to sell is a handoff of responsibility for military leadership to someone else, anyone else.

It is an exit strategy, but only for Obama. You didn’t think he was concerned about anyone else, did you?

JavelinaBomb on March 23, 2011 at 12:24 PM

“‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

Geraghtly nailed the Muenchhausen in Chief early on.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Grrr s/b Geraghty – no idea where that “l” came from. It wasn’t from Humpty Dumpty.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2011 at 12:26 PM

“But on Libya, Obama’s opacity is coming back to haunt him, as critics from both parties press him on his rationale for taking action and for a more specific articulation of his vision for American goals and aspirations in the Mideast and elsewhere.”

Hence the requirement to stand in front of Congress…

… and explain yourself to the American people your plan, reasons, and strategy before you put a single American soldier in harms way.

But Obowma couldn’t be bothered to do that…

… could he?

Seven Percent Solution on March 23, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Dems Americans with any instinct for survival have got to be thinking he needs to be primariedimpeached.

txmomof6 on March 23, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Fixed

NoFanofLibs on March 23, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Is this constitutional?
What is this?
What is “this”‘s mission?
Who leads it?
Who’s still in the coalition?
Who are the rebels?
What if they are terrorists?
What is the end of this?
What happens after the “end” of this? Same as Muzzie Brotherhood in Egypt, at best?
Who finances this?
Who benefits from this?
Any ups for the U.S.? Why should she pay, again, in blood and treasure, to cover Libya and Europe’s butt?

Anyboth home at the WH?

Add on.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2011 at 12:32 PM

this is a wet-finger-in-the wind strategy.

ted c on March 23, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Why did they not go after Gaddafi’s compound as a single goal?

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2011 at 12:33 PM

The Obama Doctrine: Hey, look, a kitten…

GrannyDee on March 23, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Obama’s “exit strategy” :

Beuller? Beuller? Anyone, anyone?

marybel on March 23, 2011 at 12:33 PM

By the way, who else is in this coalition besides the UK, France, U.S., and Turkey (reluctantly)?

I really don’t know.

WisRich on March 23, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Tapper, the only one with stones to call it like he sees it

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Barack Obama tried to convince Univision last night that the US has an exit strategy from the Libya conflict

One of the weirdest aspects of this to me is that Obama hasn’t even tried to make the case to the American people yet in our own media but he has no problem doing it to foreign audiences. He’s not justifying himself to the world, not us.

FloatingRock on March 23, 2011 at 12:35 PM

This is a mess.

Thanks a lot 52%ers.

Vera on March 23, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Can somebody clue me in, which US president in the past had to be shamed into doing his duty?

Sir Napsalot on March 23, 2011 at 12:35 PM

This is no way to run a superpower. This is an older Video but Niall Ferguson nails Obama’s middle east policy.

Mord on March 23, 2011 at 12:35 PM

not

FloatingRock on March 23, 2011 at 12:35 PM

The only exit strategy I saw was Obama flying off in AirForce One headed to Brazil. Very well planned and coordinated. Nicely done Obama.

Electrongod on March 23, 2011 at 12:35 PM

The fact that Obama seeks the approval of the United Nations rather than the United States Congress is very telling.

portlandon on March 23, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Don’t worry anyone, he’s coming home 2 hours early. I feel better already.
/

50sGuy on March 23, 2011 at 12:36 PM


Obama administration struggles to define American mission in Libya

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/151375-president-struggles-to-define-mission-in-libya

….Uhhhh

…………..intelligent people who know what they are doing would have a defined mission BEFORE actually launching the mission…..

…………guess there must have been some major miscommunication between Washington DC and the beaches of Rio when the “adults” put this Libya mission into action.

The stupidity coming from the democratic party is stunning….predictable….but still stunning.

Baxter Greene on March 23, 2011 at 12:37 PM

But Obowma couldn’t be bothered to do that…

… could he?

Seven Percent Solution on March 23, 2011 at 12:27 PM

He knows better than all the dummies and assorted rubes.

It’s only because the people let him. Growing balls is needed to get rid of him. Otherwise total destruction of this and next generations is deserved and self-inflicted. He is a charlatan, no more, no less, a narcissistic peacock.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Anyboth Anybody home at the WH?

Add on.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Q: President Obama, could you please explain your exit strategy from Libya?

A: I’ll have to ask the United Nations and get back to you.

MJBrutus on March 23, 2011 at 12:40 PM

By the way, who else is in this coalition besides the UK, France, U.S., and Turkey (reluctantly)?

I really don’t know.

WisRich on March 23, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Well, um, Al Qaida is on the “Libyan rebels’” side. Good Lord. This clusterfu*k just gets worse and worse.

IF A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT STARTED A WAR WITH THIS LEVEL OF TOTAL INCOMPETENCE — STUNNING, UNPRECEDENTED, UTTERLY MIND BOGGLING INCOMPETENCE — THE MEDIA AND THE LEFT WOULD BE TEARING HIM APART.

Yes, I am yelling. If ever an occasion called for it…

Rational Thought on March 23, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Rational Thought on March 23, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Winning The Future!

Vera on March 23, 2011 at 12:43 PM

You should some of the comments under jakes blog

Blame bush, he lied, unilateral yada, yada, yada, Koch brothers….

Huh?

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Q: President Obama, could you please explain your exit strategy from Libya?

A: I’ll have to ask the United Nations and get back to you.

MJBrutus on March 23, 2011 at 12:40 PM

That is we have gotten. Some scary sh it.

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2011 at 12:44 PM

America is now at war to protect a Libyan province that’s been an epicenter of anti-American jihad.

In recent years, at mosques throughout eastern Libya, radical imams have been “urging worshippers to support jihad in Iraq and elsewhere,” according to WikiLeaked cables. More troubling: The city of Derna, east of Benghazi, was a “wellspring” of suicide bombers that targeted U.S. troops in Iraq.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2011 at 12:45 PM

I thought part of President Charlie Foxtrot’s strategy was NOT to use ground forces. He said that in his speech a few days ago. I wasn’t dreaming, was I?

So explain this
Camp Lejeune Marines to Libya

kurtzz3 on March 23, 2011 at 12:45 PM

We have no opposition party in this country. And everyone is afraid of a “Constitutional Crisis”. Yeah, well, we already have one,,we have a ‘Constitutional Crisis’ every day[had one every sense he was exalted] and it is just getting deeper. The Republic is bleeding profusely, everyone is watching it bleed out, no one is willing to come to its aid. A nation of onlookers, not willing to intervene.

retiredeagle on March 23, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Update: Jazz Shaw writes today about the blatant hypocrisy at the heart of the UN “R2P” doctrine on which Obama relied.

That’s exactly the problem, LEADERS LEAD!

GrayDog on March 23, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Obama is merely the puppet. I think others take turn controlling the strings.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/03/soros_heavily_involved_in_the.html

capejasmine on March 23, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Dems with any instinct for survival have got to be thinking he needs to be primaried.

[txmomof6 on March 23, 2011 at 12:19 PM]

If that is what they’re preoccupied with thinking, they’re doomed. Barry’s got at least a year more of eff’n up before they can even start to address their problem by primary-ing him.

Dusty on March 23, 2011 at 12:51 PM

kurtzz3… will be interesting to see what happens.

Camp Lejeune Marines Help Launch Airstrikes on Libya
Michelle Bliss (2011-03-22)
03-22-11 (WHQR) –

Ulsh says that his unit’s unique ability to launch jets from ships, without a secured airfield, has enabled the group to step in during times of international crisis.

I dunno what one does with 2200 more marines though. Besides Obama would not lie to us. ( / )

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2011 at 12:53 PM

But Barry’s sooooo smart and superior and Harvard-educated, and he has such a fabulous temperament, and have you seen that killer crease in his pants?

Who cares that he had no executive or military experience; he’d been a part-time law lecturer and part-time state senator — that was more than enough experience to qualify him for the nation’s highest office! (And as John McCain himself told us, we had nothing to fear from an Obama presidency).

Besides, Barry was young and hip and black and had an Arab-sounding name, and if we voted for him it would prove that we weren’t knuckle-dragging, gun-toting racists.

Plus, he was just so dreamy . . . .

AZCoyote on March 23, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Yesterday, Defense Secretary Gates, talking about who would take over for the US and when, said, “this command and control business is complicated. We haven’t done something like this, kind of on the fly before. And so it’s not surprising to me that it would take a few days to get it all sorted out.”

-Jake Tapper

Wow! This is terrible!

INC on March 23, 2011 at 12:53 PM

WisRich on March 23, 2011 at 12:34 PM

The honorable MM lists the coalition(s) here:
http://michellemalkin.com/2011/03/22/iraq-libya/
(great expose, actually)

However, it would pay to check headlines hourly, as many are backing out quickly !!

pambi on March 23, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Wow! This is terrible!

INC on March 23, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Sheesh. Even if it is the truth he should have kept that thought in his head. I am not filled with confidence.

CWforFreedom on March 23, 2011 at 12:55 PM

What Obama is attempting to sell is a handoff of responsibility for military leadership to someone else, anyone else.

Everything this guys sells is crap. Reminds me of a used car salesman..

ted c on March 23, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Nuance my butt. Nothing nuanced about it. More like incoherence and incompetence.

Whenever lefties flounder for lack of clarity, they try to excuse it as “nuance”. It’s “nuance” and we’re too dumb to understand it. What a crock.

petefrt on March 23, 2011 at 12:59 PM

95% of the military assets in the Libyan boondoggle will be US owned and operated, but command will be somewhere else. This gives Obama the perfect excuse to defer responsibility to some one else. If asked anything about the Libyan expedition he will just defer to non-US commander saying they are making the decisions.

albill on March 23, 2011 at 1:01 PM

The fact that Obama seeks the approval of the United Nations rather than the United States Congress is very telling.

portlandon on March 23, 2011 at 12:36 PM

THIS!!!!!

President Charlie Foxtrot

This too.

Our Commander in Chief Absentia is a national disgrace and an international embarrassment. What a freakin nightmare!

CantCureStupid on March 23, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Well Obutthead did say he’d stand with his Muslim brothers. Now I wonder…is this all a set up, so we’re attacked from the outside in, as well as the current attack from within the WH?

capejasmine on March 23, 2011 at 1:06 PM

ob·fus·cate [ob-fuh-skeyt, ob-fuhs-keyt]
-verb (used with object), -cat·ed, -cat·ing.
1. to confuse, bewilder, or stupefy.
2. to make obscure or unclear:
to obfuscate a problem with extraneous information.
3. to darken.
……….
ex·tra·ne·ous [ik-strey-nee-uh s]v-adjective
1. introduced or coming from without; not belonging or proper to a thing; external; foreign:
(AS IN THE UN ?????)

OBFUSCATOR IN CHIEF !!!

I cannot stand this man.

pambi on March 23, 2011 at 1:09 PM

The fog of war is supposed to be restricted to the battlefield, but in this conflict it seems to have settled in over the White House.

PatriotRider on March 23, 2011 at 1:10 PM

No surprise here. Barry’s just ‘making up shit’ as he goes along.

GarandFan on March 23, 2011 at 1:15 PM

When the going gets tough in defending the Libyan action, the tough get going on defending their Nobel Peace Prize.

Dusty on March 23, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Operation Punch Drunk

betsyz on March 23, 2011 at 1:26 PM

It’s funny watching liberals and establishment Republicans twisting themselves into knots trying to understand little Bammie’s ‘strategy’ here. How long will it take them to accept that the Bamster is simply an idiot, and idiots don’t have strategies?

slickwillie2001 on March 23, 2011 at 1:27 PM

More like kids playing a video game than leaders of a country, much less the once-great USA.

I put more thought into making dinner, at least I decide what to make, and check that I have the ingredients.

Carolyn Glick (Israeli) says US foreign policy is “dementia”, and she is absolutely right. Every govt. on the planet is now assessing how to take advantage of our crop of “leaders”.

Just wrote my Rep and Senators, said I want them to end this farce. Using any and all means possible, including impeachment. I’m in Calif, so probably useless, but I’m going to do it every day. Borrowing money to bomb is the least of it.

jodetoad on March 23, 2011 at 1:28 PM

My question is will Congress ever vote to approve the military action in Libya?

And what happens if they vote no?

Queasy on March 23, 2011 at 1:29 PM

When, and based on what, is the U.S. pulling out of Germany?

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Yesterday, Defense Secretary Gates, talking about who would take over for the US and when, said, “this command and control business is complicated. We haven’t done something like this, kind of on the fly before. And so it’s not surprising to me that it would take a few days to get it all sorted out.”

-Jake Tapper

Repeat this a million times. Share with all you know. This is Obama’s ‘leadership’.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2011 at 1:33 PM

I think we are headed toward have been in the middle of a terrible national embarrassment for over two years.

petunia on March 23, 2011 at 12:24 PM

FIFY, there, petunia. 22 months to go.

iurockhead on March 23, 2011 at 1:34 PM

When, and based on what, is the U.S. pulling out of Germany?

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Good question. They have no interest (or the backbone required) in being part of NATO. Troubling when the French make the Germans look wimpy.

iurockhead on March 23, 2011 at 1:37 PM

My question is will Congress ever vote to approve the military action in Libya?

And what happens if they vote no?

Queasy on March 23, 2011 at 1:29 PM

Interesting question.

I think that if Soetoro went to congress first, he would have gotten authorization. But now, after his disrespecting congress, and the huge outpouring of disapproval by Americans of all political persuasions – I bet they’d vote no.

If they do, Soetoro will use up all 90 days allowed by the war powers act, then I don’t know – depends on what Soros wants.

Rebar on March 23, 2011 at 1:38 PM

President Scare Crow. If he only had a brain.

Slowburn on March 23, 2011 at 12:22 PM

– A heart
– A home
– The nerve

rockmom on March 23, 2011 at 1:40 PM

For now: Impeach

For next year: Vote

ernesto on March 23, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Rebar on March 23, 2011 at 1:38 PM

i wonder…methinks that he will still get a slim approval

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 1:47 PM

What if Libya is just the stepping stone for R2P? what if Sudan is the goal?

Biden has come out strongly in favor of the referendum on Sudan splitting into 2 parts.

Obama is beholden to not only Soros but Hollywood and this was just posted recently about northern sudan troop movements around Abiyei:

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/africa-emerges/clooney-sudan-satellite-border

If we have a NFZ around Libya and “we” notice something going on in the Sudan?? How easy will it be to “extend” the NFZ ie bombing?

Were the Germans asked to maybe extend their listening ears/radar a little farther and realized the ultimate goal?

journeyintothewhirlwind on March 23, 2011 at 1:55 PM

i wonder…methinks that he will still get a slim approval

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 1:47 PM

If Soetoro could explain what the plan is, and how the end result will benefit America – maybe.

But since he cannot, and there is no scenario where we can win – no, he won’t win that vote, and he knows it.

Rebar on March 23, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Exit strategy my tail. There’s been little coverage, but apparently we’ve deployed 2200 Marines on the ground into Libya. And as far as well thought out, it seems that these “rebels” we’re supporting have been providing Libyan chemical weapons to Iran, Hamas, and Hizbollah.

Hmmm…

Links:
http://www.wcti12.com/news/27257042/detail.html

http://barenakedislam.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/those-so-called-rebels-barack-obama-is-defending-are-selling-libyas-chemical-weapons-to-iran-hizballah-and-hamas/

LooseCannon on March 23, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Rebar on March 23, 2011 at 2:00 PM

gotcha..should be interesting

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 2:02 PM

LooseCannon on March 23, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Something tells me Obama knew this, when he gave the go ahead. Now he essentially has American troops cooperating with our enemy.

capejasmine on March 23, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Camp Lejeune Marines to Libya

kurtzz3 on March 23, 2011 at 12:45 PM

I saw that too.

WTF.

Midas on March 23, 2011 at 2:09 PM

I’ll Stick Around

Christien on March 23, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Sorry, Obama’s simply got to go, willingly or not.

If Congress won’t do it – and in a damn hurry – what’s next?

We won’t survive another 2 years of this.

Midas on March 23, 2011 at 2:13 PM

I think we are headed toward a terrible national embarrassment.

petunia on March 23, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Three years too late for that.

Sir Napsalot on March 23, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Camp Lejeune Marines to Libya
kurtzz3 on March 23, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Time to impeach. Also, time for a 3rd party. There is simply no electoral option for those who oppose senseless wars of aggression or the growth of the security state.

ernesto on March 23, 2011 at 2:30 PM

ernesto on March 23, 2011 at 2:30 PM

Does the green party have a candidate yet?

Rebar on March 23, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Does the green party have a candidate yet?

Rebar on March 23, 2011 at 4:05 PM

I’m hoping crazy Howie Dean runs on a Third Party ticket.

slickwillie2001 on March 23, 2011 at 4:12 PM

Yes We Can

No We Won’t

Wait, Maybe We Will

Yes We Did; Well Sorta Kinda

We Could Have, But The LIGHTWORKER Dithered.

hillbillyjim on March 23, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Oops.

LIGHTWORKER s/b LIGHTWEIGHT

hillbillyjim on March 23, 2011 at 4:29 PM

Playing it by ear?

This only proves that they are completely tone-deaf.

And given the optics, blind as well.

A shame they couldn’t have completed the trifecta with mute.

Freelancer on March 23, 2011 at 4:52 PM

I’m hoping crazy Howie Dean runs on a Third Party ticket.

slickwillie2001 on March 23, 2011 at 4:12 PM

Dean is on board with military interventions, so long as it’s a democrat who does it. The green party will want a staunch anti-war person, to peel off the substantial constituency of pacifists from the democrat party.

Rebar on March 23, 2011 at 5:47 PM

President Scare Crow. If he only had a brain.

Slowburn on March 23, 2011 at 12:22 PM

– A heart
– A home
– The nerve

rockmom on March 23, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Unfortunately he has plenty of nerve.

Slowburn on March 24, 2011 at 1:50 AM

Obama and his team are playing it by ear

Given the size of those ears, we could be there awhile.

Tim_CA on March 24, 2011 at 11:39 AM