Deal near: NATO to take control of war “time-limited, scope-limited military action” in Libya; Update: U.S. looking for legal loophole to arm Libyan rebels

posted at 4:16 pm on March 24, 2011 by Allahpundit

“Time-limited, scope-limited military action” is the euphemism du jour, incidentally, thanks to White House press secretary Jay Carney. We started with “war,” we segued to “intervention,” we pit-stopped at “kinetic military action,” and now we’ve arrived here. Reminds me of George Carlin’s old bit about how the terminology of “shellshock” grew over the years, euphemistic syllable by syllable, into what we know today as “post-traumatic stress disorder.” It sounds so much … cleaner (and, in the present case, more legal).

Anyway, good news: After a week of hesitation, our new TLSLMA is about to become a BFD for NATO.

NATO appeared on Thursday to move closer to assuming command of the military operation in Libya when Turkey’s foreign minister was quoted as saying an agreement has been reached…

“The coalition that was formed following the Paris meeting will abandon the mission and hand it over entirely to a single command system under NATO,” Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was quoted as saying by Turkey’s state-run Anatolia news agency…

Turkey’s government had insisted that any NATO mission, including the no-fly zone, must be restricted to protecting civilians, enforcing the arms embargo and providing humanitarian aid.

Davutoglu had said Wednesday that his country would not agree to a “framework that goes beyond this.” But Turkey also said it would contribute four frigates and one submarine to the NATO naval force that patrolling off Libya’s coast to enforce a U.N. arms embargo. Two frigates had reached the Libyan coast while two others were on their way.

The Turkish parliament approved the country’s participation earlier today, shortly after prime minister/Islamist demagogue Recep Tayyip Erdogan casually offered this bon mot at a press conference about his NATO allies: “I wish that those who only see oil, gold mines and underground treasures when they look in that direction [of Libya], would see the region through glasses of conscience from now on.” If you’re wondering why Turkey would sign onto a mission they’d been stalling on for days, it’s not because they’re suddenly gung ho to take out Qaddafi. On the contrary, only by having NATO in charge will the Turks retain some sort of veto power in case the west decides to escalate the mission to regime change. Quote:

Ankara insisted NATO should have sole control of Libya operations to prevent offensive operations that could harm civilians or a divided command where NATO was in charge of enforcing a U.N.-mandated no-fly zone while coalition planes continued to bomb Libyan forces

Daniel Keohane of the European Union Institute for Security Studies said it was vital to clarify the aim of military action, noting that while the EU and the United States say Gaddafi must go, the U.N. resolution did not authorize regime change.

“It’s about imposing the no-fly zone and to protect civilians by all necessary means,” he said. “The problem is that some people in Turkey and some of the European countries like Germany worry it may become about regime change.”

By consolidating the entire mission under NATO, Turkey makes it harder for the U.S., France, or Britain to break away and go after Qaddafi, which is beyond the scope of the UN resolution. And of course Obama will approve the new arrangement anyway, even though it increases the risk of a stalemate on the ground, because it gets him off the hook politically at home. He said we’d be handing over control of the mission quickly, and gosh darn it, he was right. So I’ll pose the same question that I posed to you yesterday: What happens now if the rebels really are too inept and undisciplined to make headway against the regime without greater offensive support from western air power? Supposedly they have only 1,000 or so trained men; retired Air Force Gen. Charles Horner, writing in today’s WSJ, insists that Qaddafi can be beaten through airstrikes, but we’ll have to ramp things up to do it — which is precisely what Turkey is trying to prevent by NATOizing the operation. And even if Qaddafi somehow topples, that’s the easy part. Afterwards comes the agonizing decision about what the west should do when his loyalists inevitably start looking for revenge. Exit quotation from Steven Metz of the U.S. Army War College: “[I]t’s difficult for me to imagine a scenario where this conflict doesn’t drag on and produce a persistent insurgency.”

Update: Wait until Turkey realizes that our time-limited, scope-limited military action isn’t as time-limited or scope-limited as they thought.

Paragraph 4 of [the UN] resolution provides sweeping authority to U.N. member states “to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970, to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.” The notwithstanding clause, which was proposed by the United States, provides for an unspecified exemption from the embargo, according to diplomats…

Council diplomats say [Susan] Rice gave no hint that the clause would be used as a pretext to arm the rebels. “The clear perception of the large majority of the council is that it would not open the door to arming the rebels,” the council diplomat said…

U.N. diplomats say the exemption would technically provide a legal basis for limited supplies of weapons to rebels, as long as they could make the case that they were needed to forestall a government attack against civilian targets. But they warned that it could poison the U.S. relationship with other council members, who may feel they have been misled about the intent of the language.


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This might be a little OT,sorry, but has anyone joined the OathKeepers or know of them being targeted as a group because they are “terrorists”. I am thinking of joining but do not need a target on my back just yet.

retiredeagle on March 24, 2011 at 6:57 PM

Legal loop hole my ass. This stuff ain’t rocket science…

Get permission from some neighbor to drive up to the border to check things out, then park for dinner in the back line of the convoy, leave the keys in the trucks… Or do the same with some boat loads of stuff…

Opps… Hey boss, someone stole all that stuff… We’ll put inspector Clueless on that right away…

I’d also leave some sort of GPS tagging in the big important equipment so you can take them out if needs be…

drfredc on March 24, 2011 at 7:04 PM

I thought you were supposed to sell cocaine to arm rebels:)

esnap on March 24, 2011 at 7:08 PM

Ok, Yemen boss going away. Syria, Saudi, and other assorted sandbox rumblings. You know, If I was a conspiracy type,,I might think that someone pushed a button and the dominoes just started doing their thing.

retiredeagle on March 24, 2011 at 7:10 PM

U.S. looking for legal loophole to arm Libyan rebels

Send them to the center for American Progress, Open Society and the Tides Foundation. They send money to every group that whats to destroy America, why not just send them weapons who people would love to funnel to the enemies of America.

Then no need to have another Iran-Contra event even though there are plenty out who would love to do that over again from the left side.

tjexcite on March 24, 2011 at 7:12 PM

There are so many bad things that can happen against one long-shot good thing (a stable Libyan regime friendly tho the US) that one wonders why the US is attempting to shoot for the equivalent of 4 inside straights in a row-odds-wise.)

1 If Qadaffi survives the rebels plus the US-Brit-French interference, he will have raised his own stature to that of deity – and lowered ours.
2 There is an excellent chance that Q-man’s replacement will be a religious Muslim fanatic worse than even the deposed ruler.
3 If the bombings fail there is the risk of incremental involvement and cost-both in money and lives (at a time when we are overly involved in other wars and “hotspots”)Also at a time when the US is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.
4 An ugly precedent has been set-WAR AS AN AFTERTHOUGHT-totally bypassing the American people and congress. “Oh by the way, did I forget to mention we’re at war?”. (But of course it won’t be called “war”.
5 After an afterthought-”oh by the way” war, he skips all questioning by a South American vacation immediately after declaration. It’s amazing he didn’t need crib notes to remember who we’re at war with.

MaiDee on March 24, 2011 at 7:13 PM

I might think that someone pushed a button and the dominoes just started doing their thing.

retiredeagle on March 24, 2011 at 7:10 PM

That “someone” being the muslem brotherhood.

We could very well be witnessing the rebirth of the caliphate – which would be very very bad indeed.

Rebar on March 24, 2011 at 7:24 PM

Soetoro has already been arming the Mexican drug cartels with thousands of weapons, why discriminate against Libyan al-queda jihadists?

That would simply be racist.

Rebar on March 24, 2011 at 7:29 PM

This stupid f@#$ in the WH is going to arm islamist al-qaeda terrorists with *our* weapons.

Just f@#$ing brilliant.

Midas on March 24, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Things proceed exactly to Obama’s plan. His brothers are making huge progress.

Schadenfreude on March 24, 2011 at 7:39 PM

Rebar and Midas are quite correct-

If Q-man is overthrown, like as not, he replacement will be a fanatic religious terrorist now well-armed with US tanks, rocket launchers, mortars, bazookas, rifles, etc. kindly given to them by Obama.

With such weaponry, we can’t let the status quo stand, can we? In come the US troops-to be killed by our own weaponry-or be tried by our own military tribunals for murder if they dare fight back.

MaiDee on March 24, 2011 at 7:43 PM

about how the terminology of “shellshock” grew over the years, euphemistic syllable by syllable, into what we know today as “post-traumatic stress disorder.”
–Only this evolution makes swathes more sense. Sitting under a prolonged artillery bombardment of a sort common during WWI made thousands of young men twitch and shake involuntarily for days, weeks, sometimes years after; “shell shock” is an apt signifier for short or long-term variants of this effect. That shellshock was then attached to behaviours that didn’t really reflect the literality of the phrase and then phased out in favour of a more applicable military *and* civilian catchall is potentially much more accurate. I used to get a kick out of researching the Mental Health Acts over here – legislation which replaced the “Lunacy” Act 1845.

Grunchy Cranola on March 24, 2011 at 7:56 PM

He is now Pres O-Bomb-a.

Alden Pyle on March 24, 2011 at 7:58 PM

There was a game for the PlayStation called “Lunatic Dawn Odyssey” … coincidence or subversion by military brass (now suffering from the uncontrollable giggles) ??

J_Crater on March 24, 2011 at 8:06 PM

China had some 30,000 folks in Libya. Got them out in just a couple of days. Word is the planes/ships were loaded both ways. And the incoming did not go to “rebels”. References? I’ve been trying two weeks.

BTW arming a rabble only makes an armed rabble. Why do you think US Military is All Volunteer? And the rest of the world is trending this way because we are still the deadliest men on the planet.

Caststeel on March 24, 2011 at 8:57 PM

We could very well be witnessing the rebirth of the caliphate – which would be very very bad indeed.

Rebar on March 24, 2011 at 7:24 PM

Turkey and Saudi both have modern militaries. Turkey has, now, stupid politicians. Saudis, never.

As keepers of the “holy cities” can Saudis ever be less than rulers of the caliphate?

Saudis are not above “cat’s paws” but will need much smarter ones than Libya rabble. And Iran still has its own prententions and adherents.

Bottom line, Islam is still divided internally. Silly Muzzies.

Islam Delenda Est.

Caststeel on March 24, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Update: U.S. looking for legal loophole to arm Libyan rebels

This cannot end well.

JetBoy on March 24, 2011 at 5:06 PM

You think arming the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda (again) is a bad idea?

You must be one of those unpatriotic conservatives who hates America and the troops.

Rae on March 24, 2011 at 9:32 PM

After all, look how well it worked arming the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan. It’s Chinatown, folks, and we don’t know what’s really going on.

flataffect on March 24, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Gunwalking.

Agent who questioned it was told they “wanted to see how far they go”

Cartels have moved into Africa with their drugs. So now they move drugs and weapons.

Easy-peasy Backdoor arming of Libyan rebels.

Nice that the UN resolution with backdoor wording that we say allows arming of rebels is put in at the last minute? That the UN resolution passed right after the gunwalking story broke? It might be kind of embarrassing if weapons from the US turned up in Libya without that resolution. But now if they are found it just looks like the President was “on top of things”.

Just MO.

journeyintothewhirlwind on March 24, 2011 at 10:37 PM

Arm them with the weapons Israel seized last week coming from Iran. Your loophole is called “covert action”.

crosspatch on March 24, 2011 at 10:42 PM

WORST PRESIDENT EVER!!!!

PappyD61 on March 24, 2011 at 11:08 PM

You think arming the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda (again) is a bad idea?

You must be one of those unpatriotic conservatives who hates America and the troops.

Rae on March 24, 2011 at 9:32 PM

A) The rebels are not all or even mostly Muslim Brotherhood or al Qaeda.
B) They need small arms, not anti-tank weaponry, if we are already taking out the armor. Send them handguns and hunting rifles. Make them an armed populace,

Count to 10 on March 25, 2011 at 8:57 AM

This might be a little OT,sorry, but has anyone joined the OathKeepers or know of them being targeted as a group because they are “terrorists”. I am thinking of joining but do not need a target on my back just yet.

retiredeagle on March 24, 2011 at 6:57 PM

I am a member and I have not heard anything about being on any list. If they are not on me then anyone should be safe, I am a bit heated sometime when writing on blogs and such. I have purchased six weapons in the last six months too and already had three from the previous year. join up, look me up on there, I use Proud Infidel there.

old war horse on March 26, 2011 at 1:29 AM

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