WaPo: Mission most definitely not accomplished in Odyssey Dawn

posted at 10:12 am on March 23, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama insists that the mission in Libya is to protect civilians, not to wage war against Moammar Gaddafi.  If so, the Washington Post reports that the results thus far indicate that the Western coalition needs to rethink its strategy:

Four days of allied strikes have battered Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi’s air force and largely destroyed his long-range air defense systems, a top U.S. commander said Tuesday. But there was little evidence that the attacks had stopped regime forces from killing civilians or shifted the balance of power in favor of the rebels.

Gaddafi loyalists made further advances into thebesieged western city of Misurata, continued to pound the small town of Zintan southwest of Tripoli, the capital, and fired artillery to hold at bay rebels attempting to regroup outside the strategic eastern town of Ajdabiya.

The Libyan military’s attacks and the mounting civilian deaths call into question whether the internationally imposed no-fly zone can achieve its goal of protecting civilians, let alone help loosen Gaddafi’s grip on power. It seemed unlikely that the coalition, which has argued in recent days over the scope and leadership of the allied mission, would countenance a significant escalation.

That has been the question since Friday, when Obama ended weeks of vacillation and finally decided to apply American military power to the situation.  Had Obama decided earlier to use military force, when Gaddafi’s forces were bottled up in Tripoli and the rebels controlled entire cities, an air campaign could have stopped Gaddafi from breaking out and besieging “liberated” Libyan villages and cities.  Bombers would have stopped armor from rolling down the highways, at least, and would likely have discouraged infantry movements on foot as well.  Also, the target selection would have been much more clear for Western pilots and cruise-missile crews and would not have risked the civilian deaths that intervention was supposed to prevent.

The weeks of dithering allowed Gaddafi to seize the initiative and the window of opportunity for an air war success to close.  By the time that the UN, the Arab League, and Obama finally all decided to act, it was at least almost too late.  The coalition can no longer keep Gaddafi out of Benghazi and Misurata, because his forces are already there and are too close to the civilian populations to attack directly.  The only safe targets are Gaddafi’s fixed military installations and his lines of communication to Benghazi and Misurata, which looks a lot more like a traditional multinational war than a humanitarian intervention.

Obama has ruled out “boots on the ground” in this mission.  Let’s put aside the obvious hypocrisy in the fact that close-in bombing attacks require ground spotters for accurate target selection, so we either already have boots on the ground in a literal sense or we’re dropping bombs blindly in densely-populated areas.  There will be no other way to “protect civilians” now than to put an army between Gaddafi and those population centers.  No one seems to have the stomach for that, and for good reasons.  Just in practical terms, no one has an army available for that task, and it would take months to get one in place, by which time this war is almost certain to be over.

Under the circumstances, waging war against Gaddafi to force his removal is the only mission objective with a chance of success, and it’s the only one that the West refuses to embrace.


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Comment pages: 1 2

The US elected and the world got a community-activist POTUS…
Geopolitical uncertainty awaits…

mjbrooks3 on March 23, 2011 at 10:16 AM

President Vacillate.

Has a nice ring to it.

fossten on March 23, 2011 at 10:16 AM

So we will spend a few tens of billions pounding the Libyan desert and destroying the odd army truck or tent, and then withdraw.

Daffo will get to claim he stood up to not only the America but the entire west, and then he will welcome the Russkis or the Chinese in to help put everything back together. Good job, President Clown, leading from the rear.

Bishop on March 23, 2011 at 10:19 AM

it was at least almost too late.

I can sort of at least almost maybe figure out what this means. With respect, Ed, that phrase wasn’t your best. But as to the substance of your post, I agree completely.

jwolf on March 23, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Being the most important nation on Earth’s Chief Executive is hard.

Who’s up for some golf?

Good Lt on March 23, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Obama on the mission since day 1!
The mission to bring America down, that is.

txhsmom on March 23, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Coalition is falling apart, Jerusalem is bombed once again. Potus is failing…..end times?

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Bishop on March 23, 2011 at 10:19 AM

My amateur’s reading of the case is that France, if not the US, will insist on Gaddafi’s removal, whatever the official UN language says. Too much on the line otherwise. I can’t wait to see the media spin for Obama as he changes from:

1. Gaddafi must go but we won’t intervene, to
2. We’ll intervene but not to target Gaddafi, to
3. We may or may not stay there but Gaddafi has to go, to
4. ????

jwolf on March 23, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Coalition is falling apart, Jerusalem is bombed once again. Potus is failing…..end times?

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 10:22 AM

It’s certainly looking like it.

Everything is going the wrong way.

Unprecedented pain is coming.

artist on March 23, 2011 at 10:25 AM

“Under the circumstances, waging war against Gaddafi to force his removal is the only mission objective with a chance of success, and it’s the only one that the West refuses to embrace.”

And that is a mission objective that goes too far!

I am not an isolationist, but enough is enough al ready with ground troops and full blown operations in the Middle East, especially when our DIRECT interests are slim to none in this. Furthermore, I am against any war that could end up aiding an opposition whose upper tier hierarchy are made up of far too many Islamic extremists/members of the Mujahideen for my taste.

Enough!

Indy82 on March 23, 2011 at 10:25 AM

How can we be sure the mission is not accomplished, when we don’t even know what the mission is?

Oust Quadaffi?

Protect civilians?

Install a democratic government?

The Obama administration has told us it’s all of these . . . and none of these.

AZCoyote on March 23, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Is Obama committing troops on the ground for this latest unconstitutional attack?
http://www.wcti12.com/news/27257042/detail.html

True_King on March 23, 2011 at 10:27 AM

WaPo: Mission most definitely not accomplished in Operation Odyssey DawnEndless War…

PatriotRider on March 23, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Maybe someone here will help me with this: how is ‘civilian’ defined in this conflict? Are the ‘civilians’ people who are armed and in rebellion against Kaddafi or are they Muhammad Q. Public the unarmed everyman minding his own business but caught in the middle of the fighting? My impression is that Kaddafi is primarily going after the ‘armed and in rebellion against Kadaffi’ bunch. If I mount a 50 calibre machine gun on the back of my pickup and my buds and I head for DC and start blasting away am I a civilian? When Obama’s forces counterattack, will Sarkozy demand protection for me since I am ‘innocent’? Just wondering. No criticism implied.

JimP on March 23, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Indeed artist

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Anyone ever hear of Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour?

The WINNER:

France proposed a new political steering committee, outside NATO, take responsibility, Foreign Minister Alain Juppe told lawmakers in Paris, according to Agence France Press. Wrangling over the alliance’s possible role in the four-day-old air campaign had exposed divisions over the command structure and strategy for the fight against Qaddafi.

President Barack Obama, speaking in Santiago, Chile, yesterday said the U.S. would hand off its leadership role “in a matter of days, not a matter of weeks.”

“This command-and-control business is complicated, and we haven’t done something like this kind of on-the-fly before,” U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters in Moscow today. “It’s not surprising to me that it would take a few days to get it all sorted out.”

fred5678 on March 23, 2011 at 10:33 AM

Mid-term grade: 0.2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK-Dqj4fHmM

Bruno Strozek on March 23, 2011 at 10:33 AM

AZCoyote on March 23, 2011 at 10:26 AM

I think that is the whole point of not explaining what we’re doing there. “Victory” will be defined by whatever standard we want to use when decide we’ve had enough.

MJBrutus on March 23, 2011 at 10:34 AM

President WTF…

sandee on March 23, 2011 at 10:34 AM

“Delegating blame”, as taught at Harvard Law –

Ex:

President Barack Obama, speaking in Santiago, Chile, yesterday said the U.S. would hand off its leadership role “in a matter of days, not a matter of weeks.”

Technically, one must already be exercising control before handing it off. Barry — not all that much in the exercising department.

fred5678 on March 23, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Odyssey Dawn is the name of

A) new shampoo
B) porn star
C) rock band
D) new spy novel
E) military operation in Libya

E) ? Really ? Seriously ?

Paul-Cincy on March 23, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Solid D-

fred5678 on March 23, 2011 at 10:38 AM

“WaPo: Mission most definitely not accomplished in Operation Odyssey Dawn/Endless War…
PatriotRider on March 23, 2011 at 10:27 AM”

I suspect you are correct. ODYSSEY: an extended adventurous voyage or trip. DAWN: a beginning. So we are at the beginning of the “endless war”. Makes you wonder if the choice of names was intentional?

JimP on March 23, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Under the circumstances, waging war against Gaddafi to force his removal is the only mission objective with a chance of success, and it’s the only one that the West refuses to embrace.

One only has to look at the effort required to hunt Ayman Al Zarqawi and Saddam Hussein. We were all over Iraq, literally, boots-on-the-ground in spades and it took us a LOT of intelligence, a LOT of hard work and a LOT of failed pursuits with the best assests and people that we have in the inventory. We literally had these guys surrounded for months. Zarqawi bolted through one of our checkpoints once and was positively ID’d by a friend of mine as AMZ rolled by in the back of a car. He was pursued by Predator (before they were armed) and then was lost in a neighborhood and survived for several more months.

If we want to oust Kaddafi and hang him by a string, that is the template that must be followed. However, that energy and dedication has to come from a singular source, and that is the White House. The dedication required has to be sufficient to ignore your NCAA brackets.

ted c on March 23, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Obama has ruled out “boots on the ground” in this mission.

Already broke that one, Ed, Marine 26th MEU has shipped out for Libya already. 22nd MEU staging to replace when the 26th tour is up.

Alden Pyle on March 23, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Barak chose Odyssey Dawn because he thought it sounded cool. It should be Operation WTF.

Alden Pyle on March 23, 2011 at 10:43 AM

True_King

There’s always a Marine Air contingent (Harrier/Super Stallions, Cobras, Hueys and CH-46′s) attached to a MEU and THAT’S who they’re using.

A Marine Expeditionary Unit goes out fully self contained to do what needs to be done, WHERE it needs to be done, WHEN it needs to be done and provides it’s own air support, both lift and combat.

Frickin’ AWESOME force, if I do say so myself (having been lucky enough to be part of the initial concept: the MAGTF)

On the other hand, THESE Marines were on their way HOME, so they’re probably pretty cranky about the diversion.

tree hugging sister on March 23, 2011 at 10:45 AM

22nd MEU staging to replace when the 26th tour is up.

Alden Pyle on March 23, 2011 at 10:41 AM


The 22nd leaves today.

csdeven on March 23, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Keeping it simple:

Objective — pretty much not defined at all.

Offensive — yes, it is.

Mass — perhaps Obama should have been a regular at Mass. (Or some recognized church, somewhere.)

Economy of Force — In this economy? Another hundred billion or so to do whatever it is that Obama thinks we are doing in Libya is mere peanuts. We have forces stretched all across the globe in support of this mission, with a dwindling number of nations involved, and duplication of missions all over the place.

Maneuver — Seems we have out-maneuvered ourselves in this one. Germany has pulled its forces out already, Italy is reviewing use of NATO bases in Italy, France wants to invade, and the 23rd MEU is enroute from Camp Lejuene for what reasons, who knows, and the Arab league is now condenming NATO’s actions in Libya.

Unity of Command — You’ve got to be kidding. We say we are not in command and France is suggesting a Committee, and the UN hasn’t defined what and who commands what, yet.

Security — We pretty much have broadcasted our strategy and our tactics with regard to Libya from the White House pressroom and all across the media. Nice.

Surprise — Not much of that, since we told Libya exactly when we were going to attack…and then some.

Simplicity – I ask you, is anything about this Obama-Libyan War simple?

Twelve Principles of War (United States Doctrine) that if followed work from the smallest squad or team up through platoons and companies and battalions, right up through brigades, divisions and corps. Been the basic tenet of military instruction for decades and decades. If followed, you win. If avoided or ignored, you lose.

Not like this warfare stuff is all brand new untested science now, is it?>

coldwarrior on March 23, 2011 at 10:45 AM

To summarize the Libyan campaign so far:

1. We don’t know what we want to achieve
2. We don’t know who is in charge
3. We have UN authorization, but not Congressional
4. We’re WINNING (h/t Charlie Sheen)

And in a few short weeks we’ll pull out of there claiming to have done whatever it is we decided to do when we decided … er … to do something.

MJBrutus on March 23, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Take a look at this and tell me that the Community Agitator is not instigating a war between our Allies.

Geeze oh Petes. We gotta get rid of this guy!

Key West Reader on March 23, 2011 at 10:47 AM

I’m curious why Egypt with 80 million people hasn’t gone in to “liberate” the oil fields in Libya, population 6 million, and “restore” the historical Egyptians to their heritage homeland. They could call themselves liberators and get the oil they so wish they had.

Mojave Mark on March 23, 2011 at 10:47 AM

I suspect you are correct. ODYSSEY: an extended adventurous voyage or trip. DAWN: a beginning. So we are at the beginning of the “endless war”. Makes you wonder if the choice of names was intentional?

JimP on March 23, 2011 at 10:39 AM

The long adverturous trip is the western world without American leadership. Is it difficult to see that the jihadists are winning the future, as well as the present? A key question is: Which side is Obama on?

GaltBlvnAtty on March 23, 2011 at 10:47 AM

I think that is the whole point of not explaining what we’re doing there. “Victory” will be defined by whatever standard we want to use when decide we’ve had enough.

MJBrutus on March 23, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Yep. So we may as well save ourselves some money (and possibly some U.S. military lives) by pulling out now and declaring complete victory!

AZCoyote on March 23, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Now with Germany pulling out this is becoming a complete disaster. Waiting for the mainstream media to label this mission a failure just as they did with the surge in Iraq….3…2…1. Wait…what?

SPGuy on March 23, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Obama says we’re going to hand the mission off to NATO “in days, not weeks.” But Germany has withdrawn from NATO command and are headed home. Britain said K’daffy is a legitimate target and we have a shouting match with them saying K’daffy should not be targeted (Sec. Gates) while Obama says K’daffy must go and this is not a war, subject to the War Powers Act, but rather a humanitarian mission which involves dropping bombs on a foreign country on that country’s military. What is the mission and how will we know if it’s accomplished or not? They should’ve named this mission Obviously Dumb.

cartooner on March 23, 2011 at 10:51 AM

The weeks of dithering allowed Gaddafi to seize the initiative and the window of opportunity for an air war success to close.

Well it does take time to put together such a vast array of an alliance. And to get the Arab League on board against one of their own had to be much harder. Then there was the seemingly obvious thought that Gaddafi was days away from being deposed. So i won’t fault that it took some time to respond.

But it doesn’t seem that America took the lead here. And given that North Africa had been in flames for a number of weeks before, not having an aircraft carrier task force in place ahead of time is inexcusable.

And then to say that Gaddafi must go, but it’s not the aim of your operations is contradictory. You either oust him or you live with him. You can’t send mixed messages like this. Especially if they come in back to back sentences. This is muddled talk which belies muddled thinking.

rbj on March 23, 2011 at 10:51 AM

coldwarrior on March 23, 2011 at 10:45 AM

great post.+++

ted c on March 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Methinks QDaffy is inside Barry’s OODA loop — BIG TIME.

fred5678 on March 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM

GaltBlvnAtty on March 23, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Touche.

JimP on March 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM

At risk of being redundant, the rebels lack training, discipline, and adequate weaponry. They can fight a tribal civil war, remarkable only for its chronicity. Daffy knows how to stalemate this thing. He’s still 2 chess moves ahead. He knows the west is adverse to sending in ground troops and the Arab League won’t do it. He may have to do without blonde Ukranian nursing care for a few months, but he’s playing off the west’s indecision and weaknesses. With any luck we can get him on the GOP talk circuit for the 2012 elections to talk about Barry’s presidency. Should be great!

a capella on March 23, 2011 at 10:54 AM

We’ve become pansies when it comes to waging war against brutal thugs around the globe. I doubt if WWII were waged today, we’d have any chance of stopping the axis powers.

TheBlueSite on March 23, 2011 at 10:55 AM

File this under interesting corralation; List of Military service of the POTUS. Ranks and service was prety well distributed as one would expect, except for those with NO Military Service. There were three definet groupings in the list that centered around, The War of 1812 and leading up to The Civill War, a big one up to and during WWII, and currently with Clinton and Obama. During VietNam we had a saying “The greatest pasifist in the world was someone on his secound tour.” Maybe there is a reason for that.

jpcpt03 on March 23, 2011 at 10:55 AM

coldwarrior

Shame you’re not in charge, my good man. SecDef seems to think it’s confusing:

“This command-and-control business is complicated, and we haven’t done something like this kind of on-the-fly before,” U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters in Moscow today. “It’s not surprising to me that it would take a few days to get it all sorted out.”

And here I thought it was as simple as “don’t start a war without a plan”.

But I’m blonde.

tree hugging sister on March 23, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Is this ‘confusing the goal = ability to claim victory, no matter the outcome’ contained in Rules for Radicals?
I’d wager it’s in there in some way shape or form.
God help us all, especially our troops.

pambi on March 23, 2011 at 10:59 AM

I think that is the whole point of not explaining what we’re doing there. “Victory” will be defined by whatever standard we want to use when decide we’ve had enough.

MJBrutus on March 23, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Good point. Since facts don’t matter to Americans, it’s time to use the same tactic the progressives used on Bush. Namely we define what success will be and then hang the failure around his neck. Ala “Mission Accomplished”.

csdeven on March 23, 2011 at 11:04 AM

We need a tax increase and we need it now!

a capella on March 23, 2011 at 11:08 AM

How about……

Operation…Obama doesn’t know what the he!! he’s doing, but just wanted to score some political points towards his re-election?

capejasmine on March 23, 2011 at 11:08 AM

At risk of being redundant, the rebels lack training, discipline, and adequate weaponry. They can fight a tribal civil war, remarkable only for its chronicity. Daffy knows how to stalemate this thing. He’s still 2 chess moves ahead. He knows the west is adverse to sending in ground troops and the Arab League won’t do it. He may have to do without blonde Ukranian nursing care for a few months, but he’s playing off the west’s indecision and weaknesses. With any luck we can get him on the GOP talk circuit for the 2012 elections to talk about Barry’s presidency. Should be great!

a capella on March 23, 2011 at 10:54 AM

stalemate=urban warfare. Snipers, booby traps, IEDs and all that fun stuff. Kaddafi has this thing won before the smoke has cleared from the first rounds. He’ll lose some tanks/AAA/aircraft, but a few snipers in/around Tripoli and booya…42 more years o’ me (MoMo)…

ted c on March 23, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Operation Obamanation” has a certain ring to it.

coldwarrior on March 23, 2011 at 11:10 AM

That has been the question since Friday, when Obama ended weeks of vacillation and finally decided to apply American military power to the situation.

If you want to turn Vacillation into a Vacation, just remove ill. Or something.

hit and run on March 23, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Operation Obamateurism

ted c on March 23, 2011 at 11:12 AM

President Vacillate.

Has a nice ring to it.

fossten on March 23, 2011 at 10:16 AM

BHO needs a Vacillectomy….that also has a nice ring to it.

ziggyville on March 23, 2011 at 11:14 AM

[Key West Reader on March 23, 2011 at 10:47 AM]

While I sympathize with your overall point — the buck stops at the president’s desk — it would be nice to know how much an eff up Hillary has been. The president can’t do everything, and since I do believe that Clinton is just as much of a seat-of-the-pants-er as Barry, I suspect that the coalition coordination and management in the run-up was sold to Obama with a pompous “we got it all covered”, than the hard work of really getting things nailed down.

Dusty on March 23, 2011 at 11:16 AM

jpcpt03 on March 23, 2011 at 10:55 AM

As the old saying goes: those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. That applies more to warfare than to any other human experience.

Americans with military training and experience aren’t afraid of war. We know what CAUSES war, and we know how to PREVENT war.

We give all enemies more respect than they deserve — but we show them no fear. The only thing that really terrifies us is the idea of a “Commander-In-Chief” who thinks he’s playing s damned game.

logis on March 23, 2011 at 11:17 AM

This is how the left treats people that they think are “war criminals.”

classy

ted c on March 23, 2011 at 11:17 AM

I have a very strong suspicion that Obama is micro-managing this thing like Carter did during the April 1980 botched hostage rescue in Iran. Changing the parameters every other hour, adding more specific do’s and don’t’s minute by minute, challenging the guys who are supposed to actually command….NATO, AFRICOM, CENTCOM, and all the rest.

Maybe if Obama just told the JCS that it was his intention to remove Gadaffi and assist the rebels to take over Libya and to report back to him when everything was done, and had he stayed away from the press, this fiasco might have turned out different. But, being as it is and always will be all about the “O” first, last, and foremost…Obama just had to be the sabot in the mill wheel…doing the same thing Carter did 31 years ago.

coldwarrior on March 23, 2011 at 11:19 AM

How in the heck is this going to end!? Either Barry and Co. walk away, and Gadaffi’s slaughtering continues, which the MSM will attempt to black out but I don’t think it’ll work. Or he goes all in, ground troops, an actual war with its attendant American casualties. What the hell is this guy doing? Did my president really just start a war and now he wants to say, “Oooh, my bad. Never mind.” I honestly cannot believe what I am watching. I just cannot believe it.

It looks like his plan was to have a “war, but, you know, not a war war.” This is just the most incredible moment of presidential incompetence I have ever experienced in my life.

I think about GWB and how he grieved over these decisions, felt every American casualty personally. And now there’s this guy, who is basically saying, “Go have a war…and…you know…whatever.” It is just disgusting.

Rational Thought on March 23, 2011 at 11:19 AM

But there was little evidence that the attacks had stopped regime forces from killing civilians or shifted the balance of power in favor of the rebels.

Good thing that we’ve got a steady hand on the tiller up in DC….oh wait…vacaycay is still goin’ on. right?

ted c on March 23, 2011 at 11:21 AM

PBHO: p0wned by the French.

BTW, didn’t the French have something to do with VietNam before we got involved…

bofh on March 23, 2011 at 11:21 AM

coldwarrior on March 23, 2011 at 11:19 AM

you think? I think he washed his hands of it and split town. Outta sight, outta mind. The show is being run by Jarrett et al, the State Dept, The Defense Dept etc. Except that they are trying to operate under little/no guidance from executive branch, IMO.

a community disorganized.

ted c on March 23, 2011 at 11:23 AM

What does one expect from an affirmative action president?

abcurtis on March 23, 2011 at 11:25 AM

“Fore!”

Mason on March 23, 2011 at 11:25 AM

We’ve become pansies when it comes to waging war against brutal thugs around the globe. I doubt if WWII were waged today, we’d have any chance of stopping the axis powers.

You speak the truth. America lost 2500 within hours on d-day. Christ the media had continual “death” watches when we approached 1000 in Iraq….which took just over a year to reach. You are right…this country no longer has the stomach to fight and dig in for the long haul, whether that fight is military or domestic in nature. We are doomed.

SPGuy on March 23, 2011 at 11:27 AM

If this debacle doesn’t wake up President Present (or his adoring public), what will?

PattyJ on March 23, 2011 at 11:28 AM

ted c on March 23, 2011 at 11:23 AM

If that is the case…then impeachment is a logical next step. Having miscellaneous White House staff run a war whilst the president leaves the country seems to be worthy of such.

Noticed that Obama blew off Congressional notification as well, this being solely a “humanitarian” mission and not a real “war.”

Damned disorganized for a star community organizer, ya think?

coldwarrior on March 23, 2011 at 11:29 AM

I have a very strong suspicion that Obama is micro-managing this thing like Carter did during the April 1980 botched hostage rescue in Iran. Changing the parameters every other hour, adding more specific do’s and don’t’s minute by minute, challenging the guys who are supposed to actually command….NATO, AFRICOM, CENTCOM, and all the rest.
coldwarrior on March 23, 2011 at 11:19 AM

When you think about it, what kind of general orders could Obama POSSIBLY be giving the military?

“Spend billions of dollars worth of ordinance harassing Kadafi, but don’t attack him personally?”

“Keep sending cruise missiles in the correct sequence so as to create a democratic government?”

“Kadafy is America’s enemy, but we are not officially allied with his enemy: the Muslim Brotherhood?”

I was at dinner with some military friends when Clinton declared war on Slobodan Milosevic. Somebody asked how long we would be there and I said, “Same as with any other operation: until our military objectives are achieved.”

Everyone at the table turned to me at the same time and said: “WHAT military objectives?”

I explained: “To make everyone in Bosnia love each other!” No one could offer an alternative.

logis on March 23, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Waffler in Chief.

I agree, in a term full of effrontery and slaps to the faces of citizens, this is his best effort yet. Used to wonder how it could get worse, but think maybe it couldn’t. Now I just wonder what’s next up his sleeve.

jodetoad on March 23, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Jumpin’ Jiminy! Germany has pulled its armed forces out of the NATO command structure to avoid being sucked into the Libya mess. Is this the death knell of NATO? This article also has Obama saying he’s not in charge if this — so who is? SecDef Gates says we’re “making this up on the fly” in another article. Really?!?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1368693/Libya-war-Germans-pull-forces-NATO-Libyan-coalition-falls-apart.html

EasyEight on March 23, 2011 at 11:35 AM

either already have boots on the ground in a literal sense or we’re dropping bombs blindly in densely-populated areas.

Worked for clinton in Serbia.

abobo on March 23, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Coldwarrior, I believe the WH notified aides only

despicable

the gop will do bupkis

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 11:37 AM

The D party has never been comfortable or knowledgeable in wielding military power and as a result has always, I say always, screwed it up. When you add nefarious motives of those wielding the power in addition to stupid, you get a pretty nasty mix. We have the worst administration in the history of the country[affirmative action???] and we are going to be dismantled socially, economically, and culturally which also means security wise. Mike Savage said it all, Borders, Language, Culture., You do not have a nation state without them. God help us all.Odyssey Dawn indeed.

retiredeagle on March 23, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Obama missed his 3 AM phone call. Hillary was right.

BohicaTwentyTwo on March 23, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Everytime the phone rings at 3am, Pres Urkel rolls over and hits “snooze”.

RobertE on March 23, 2011 at 11:39 AM

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1368693/Libya-war-Germans-pull-forces-NATO-Libyan-coalition-falls-apart.html

EasyEight on March 23, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Wow. That Berlin speech wasn’t enough to keep them on board…. color me unsurprised.

ted c on March 23, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Everytime the phone rings at 3am, Pres Urkel rolls over and hits “snooze”.

RobertE on March 23, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Is that Michelle’s nickname?

coldwarrior on March 23, 2011 at 11:41 AM

What people never understood is that Qaddaffi leads a tribal coalition that has support that goes back deep into Libyan history. A lot of the men he leads are descended from those who fought Graziani and the Italian Army. Then they turned coat and fought alongside Rommel against the British. Their descendants are now split into two camps.

Daffy leads the majority camp, methinks.

victor82 on March 23, 2011 at 11:41 AM

Is that Michelle’s nickname?
coldwarrior on March 23, 2011 at 11:41 AM

Would you hit a woman that hulking and who wears a permafrown every day? No way.

Bishop on March 23, 2011 at 11:44 AM

This ObamAdministration just keeps getting Dumber and Dumberer, and that’s really dangerous for us all.

ornery_independent on March 23, 2011 at 11:44 AM

What we need is HIGH SPEED RAIL!!!!!!!!

scituate_tgr on March 23, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Under the circumstances, waging war against Gaddafi to force his removal is the only mission objective with a chance of success, and it’s the only one that the West refuses to embrace.

That would require us to say what he has done that requires his removal.

That would go far beyond ‘innocent civilians in danger’ and head towards ‘helping, arming, equipping, and ordering terrorists to attack the US’.

If we do that then we must call him a war criminal and outside the bounds of civilization for that behavior.

To do that would mean we would no longer recognize his government as in any way legitimate.

Once that is done, it is our policy. Then it must be applied to all other Nations that have done similar things. Iran and Syria come to mind, but Pakistan does not have its hands clean vis a vis terrorism, either. Or Cuba.

Drawing a bright, clear and Presidentially defineable line means doing the right thing. That is non multi-culti. It tells people that certain leaders and groups are acting like barbarians, and thus we judge them on that. No one on the Left can do that today as they are decadent and becoming debauched.

The definition is clear, direct, simple and effective.

The ramifications means standing up and saying what civilization is and why it must be defended. I want that siimple, clear and succinct definition so as to let the world know there are costs to being civilized and steeper costs to abandoning it for your own ends. When that day comes, the world will at once be a better and harsher place as those seeking to defend the indefensible find themselves in a corner they painted themselves into. Then things get messy.

ajacksonian on March 23, 2011 at 11:50 AM

This “shoot from the hip” disaster is destroying the NATO alliance. Obama and his French buddies have decided to start a war against a sovereign nation without even consulting the congress of the United States. Obama’s “King” like idiocy must be curtailed and he must be sent packing in 2012 . . . if he hasn’t already destroyed the entire country.

rplat on March 23, 2011 at 11:54 AM

waging war against Gaddafi to force his removal is the only mission objective with a chance of success, and it’s the only one that the West refuses to embrace.

Yes because what would it accomplish? Nobody knows. This can’t end well…

Youngs98 on March 23, 2011 at 12:00 PM

If we were going to help these people, we had a chance a few weeks ago when the rebels were on the street in Tripoli. We should have been sending Special Forces (the original “green beret” Special Forces, not the more general sense) in to train these people while we equipped them with communications, arms, and ammunition. That is exactly the sort of mission that Special Forces were created to perform.

What is in this for us if Qaddafi manages to defeat the “rebels”? Standing on the next block throwing rocks isn’t likely to accomplish much.

crosspatch on March 23, 2011 at 12:04 PM

Obama has ruled out “boots on the ground” in this mission.

“The most intelligent man in the world” is about to learn that you need ‘boots on the ground’.

But Barry isn’t concerned about that. He’s already planning his exit strategy.

GarandFan on March 23, 2011 at 12:18 PM

It’s going to be hard to “protect” Libyans against Qaddafi because he can keep artillery fire on them going until the ammo runs out. Destroying his tanks interferes with his mobility, but against the rebels that doesn’t matter much. The rebels can’t launch a counteroffensive against him.

Qaddafi has been using artillery to slam the rebels. Even the armed rebel forces have little protection against battlefield artillery. The civilians have none.

And this is mobile, shoot-and-scoot artillery. Taking it out isn’t the same problem shwacking tanks or airfields is. Coalition aircraft need to be on-station and hunt the artillery systems down while they’re firing. It’s similar to the Scud/rocket hunting problem in Desert Storm.

J.E. Dyer on March 23, 2011 at 12:24 PM

The D party has never been comfortable with the wielding of military power and usually incapable of doing it correctly whenever it does. Add this to nefarious motives of the present”regime” and you cannot but get disaster. There is a planned, concerted,effort to deconstruct this nation and what it stands for. A plan to bring us down to the level of the rest of the world and “one world” us. The most recent being the “UN said I can do it”. BS. The Constitution has been continually spit upon by this bunch. Where the hell is the “opposition” party. I fear that the Republic has been fatally wounded and it is now in its death throes. Odyssey Dawn indeed.

retiredeagle on March 23, 2011 at 12:37 PM

A little help, please.

What is different about the “rebels”, other than that they are from different tribes?

Thanks.

tomg51 on March 23, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Awww, c’mon people! It’s Obama’s first time out launching a war, so you’ve got to give the greenhorn a little leeway for fumbles. If the strategy to protect the citizenry doesn’t pan out, he can huddle with his peeps and come up with another excuse to stay in there. After all, the first time is the hardest.

tpitman on March 23, 2011 at 12:44 PM

In the stupid is as stupid does category…

US announces that the Tomahawk cruise missile phase of the Obama-Libyan War is over.

Now, when has it become prudent military policy to announce limitations on the use of available weapons/systems to an enemy in the field while hostilities are still ongoing? Won’t use the cruise missiles “unless they are needed?”

Why make such an announcement at all?

Whomever authorized this public announcement should be fired immediately…matter of fact, the SecDef really needs to go.

coldwarrior on March 23, 2011 at 1:15 PM

NEWT LAST WEEK: “Exercise a no-fly zone this evening. … We don’t need to have the United Nations. All we have to say is that we think that slaughtering your own citizens is unacceptable and that we’re intervening.”

NEWT THIS WEEK: “I would not have intervened. I think there were a lot of other ways to affect Qaddafi. I think there are a lot of other allies in the region we could have worked with. I would not have used American and European forces.”

ha ha ha ha ha ha

Dave Rywall on March 23, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Everytime the phone rings at 3am, Pres Urkel rolls over and hits “snooze”.

RobertE on March 23, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Is that Michelle’s nickname?

coldwarrior on March 23, 2011 at 11:41 AM

THAT’s FUNNY!

ted c on March 23, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Operation Odious.

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?
How much will it cost?
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?

Anybody home at the WH?

Add on.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2011 at 2:14 PM

ha ha ha ha ha ha

Dave Rywall on March 23, 2011 at 1:34 PM

The interventionists were for it 30 days ago, when it might have mattered, and lives might have been saved.

Find a miror and above all find your brain cells, the functioning ones.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Would you hit a woman that hulking and who wears a permafrown every day? No way.

Bishop on March 23, 2011 at 11:44 AM

The One is more terrified of her than anyone else.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2011 at 2:18 PM

WAIT WAIT LET ME PLAY

What about the no-fly zones in Iraq from 1992-2003 that were coalition-based and also in support of a UN resolution, and nobody pissed their pants over that.

THIS IS FUN

YOUR TURN NOW

Dave Rywall on March 23, 2011 at 2:19 PM

The interventionists were for it 30 days ago, when it might have mattered, and lives might have been saved.

Find a miror and above all find your brain cells, the functioning ones.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2011 at 2:16 PM
——-
All is lost

Let Kadaffififif slaughter them all

Oh well

Dave Rywall on March 23, 2011 at 2:27 PM

All is lost

Let Kadaffififif slaughter them all

Oh well

Dave Rywall on March 23, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Your smarmy bullshit is particularly unfunny and in very poor taste. I’m shocked that this comes from … well nevermind.

hillbillyjim on March 23, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Obama has ruled out “boots on the ground” in this mission.

As Tapper said in his article-with this president it’s like Alice in Wonderland–Whatever he says means whatever he wants it to mean. In other words stand by for “Boots on The Ground”.

Herb on March 23, 2011 at 3:39 PM

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