Happy that the UN finally approved the no fly zone in Libya. Though, I still find it very unappealing to ask a 19 year old American soldier to step in front of bullets or bombs on behalf of Libyan freedom fighters. I don’t think it’s right to view an American soldier as a tax-free, all-purpose, public good for the world. What are your thoughts?
I don’t agree with the US enforcing a no-fly zone, let the OIC or the Arab League deal with it.
Definitely agree. USA is overextended, weakened, and getting eaten alive by its existing military commitments. I’m all for helping out freedom fighters, but only as part of a coalition where America doesn’t have to pay the most money, or kill or get the most people killed.
Wow, not just a “no fly” zone authorized, but also air strikes against artillery and tanks (and probably other vehicles too).
What exactly are they trying to do? Are they actually trying to overthrow another government? I mean, I’m not a fan of iron fisted dictators, but I’m not sure that this is a healthy policy.
“I believe in a humble foreign policy and no nation-building”. -George W Bush sometime in 2000
ohai Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > What exactly are they trying to do? Are they > actually trying to overthrow another government? I > mean, I’m not a fan of iron fisted dictators, but > I’m not sure that this is a healthy policy. Saving lives is healthy dude.
ohai Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > What exactly are they trying to do? Are they > actually trying to overthrow another government? I > mean, I’m not a fan of iron fisted dictators, but > I’m not sure that this is a healthy policy. There are some governments (I think France is one) that acknowledge the rebels as the legitimate government of Libya.
But how do they decide who is the legitimate government? Do the rebels have majority support in Libya? If so, how is that measured? Why should France get to decide who is the legitimate government of another country? Also, won’t bombing Qaddafi just prolong the conflict and kill more people? Qaddafi and the army are not going to give up without a fight. Libya has a real military too - not like Afghanistan or 2000s Iraq. Like I said, I’m not saying I support any particular side. It’s just unclear to me what the UN’s ultimate goals are.
ohai Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > But how do they decide who is the legitimate government? Good point. I think that the real issue is that he pissed off the world firing on unarmed civilian protesters, when everyone’s mindset was focused on the successful Tunisian and Egyptian peaceful uprisings. Unfortunately, that stuff happens everywhere - that firing on unarmed civilians. I’m sure there’s plenty of that that goes on in Burma/Myanmar, China, Oman, Yemen, Israel, Afghanistan, etc. > Do the rebels have majority support in Libya? If so, how is that measured? They probably do in the sense that not everyone loves to live under a dictator, but it would be hard, if not impossible to measure. > Why should > France get to decide who is the legitimate > government of another country? Because the French can run away and surrender the fastest. > Also, won’t bombing > Qaddafi just prolong the conflict and kill more > people? Khadafi will probably brutally torture and execute a lot of people. Apparently, it is OK if that happens slowly, indirectly, or in small numbers at a time (like in North Korea), but not OK if it happens quickly, directly, and with large numbers at a time (like in Srebrenica, Rwanda, or Libya). > Qaddafi and the army are not going to give > up without a fight. Libya has a real military too > - not like Afghanistan or 2000s Iraq. Yeah, probably that’s why the Obama administration, with the military’s day-to-day greatly influenced by Secretary Gates, was reluctant to say anything definitively until the Arab league voted and they could secure enough votes with no vetos on the UN Security council. > Like I said, I’m not saying I support any > particular side. It’s just unclear to me what the > UN’s ultimate goals are. I support the UN in this particular action, but overall I dislike the institution, especially the ineffectual peacekeeping arm. Look at Rwanda or Srebrenica, “UN = Useless Nations” would have been a huge upgrade since the UN provided false hope for those affected. Also, if you have a chance, check out how heavily-armed UN troops ran away from a Haitian field hospital overnight while unarmed CNN correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta stayed behind. Overall, there are lots of contradictions between specific actions and general aims of the UN, which probably stems from having too many competing interests.
ohai Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > But how do they decide who is the legitimate > government? Do the rebels have majority support in > Libya? If so, how is that measured? Why should > France get to decide who is the legitimate > government of another country? Also, won’t bombing > Qaddafi just prolong the conflict and kill more > people? Qaddafi and the army are not going to give > up without a fight. Libya has a real military too > - not like Afghanistan or 2000s Iraq. > > Like I said, I’m not saying I support any > particular side. It’s just unclear to me what the > UN’s ultimate goals are. I’m very nervous, but I must concede that Obama has handled this very, very skillfully. Frankly, with the kind of skill George H W Bush used to display in these matters. President Obama played his cards very close to his chest. It’s quite obvious that China and Russia would never snap to attention and acquiesce to a US demand in 24 hours. There was a lot of work going on in the background to get to this resolution. Obama gets five things that he wanted: 1. The Europeans; France and Great Britain will lead this thing. Italy is providing bases and naval ports. The US will participate actively but this is not seen as a US endeavor. 2. Arabs will participate in some way, and Egypt is already arming the rebels officially . 3. International legitimacy for any US role in this. 4. The resolution goes far beyond a no-fly zone by authorizing “all necessary measures.” - A no fly zone 2 weeks ago wouldn’t have stopped most of Gaddafi’s gains. And we must always remember that Europe’s worst atrocity since WW II happened under the noses of a No-fly zone in Srebrenica. Getting a resolution that goes beyond that is a triumph. 5. Politically, the US comes out of this looking very competent. It took its time, positioned forces, respected the international order and got what it wanted. When it decided to move, things happened decisively . That’s effective diplomacy. Unfortunately, people die while effective diplomacy is taking its time to work, that’s the grim reality of matters of war and peace. I’m very nervous about what happens next, but this is very effective leadership from Obama. This is the first time in the history of the United Nations that a Security Council resolution explicitly authorizes the protection of civilians.
If the above is really true, then it’s the way to go. I would like to see the Arab League, OIC, and the European powers play a greater role in stability in the Mediterranean, when US interests aren’t threatened. There is really no benefit to the US from US intervention, and it’s not clear that there will be real benefit to Libyans either.
Quick point, 2000’s Iraq military was far superior to libya’s and the armed forces of Afghanistan were probably roughly equivalent to what Libya has now. We annhilated both in days. We also annhilated the 90’s Iraqi army in weeks. What got us both times was the exit strategy and ensuing guerilla aftermath. That will not be a factor with the “no boots on the ground” clause in the UN agreement. Add to the fact that we have the unequivacable support of the Arab league, qatar and Egypt (which has been shipping the rebels arms over the past week) and the existing rebel forces and it’s actually a pretty doable operation. The “which government represents the majority” question can also be addressed later as the rebel forces are proposing a democratic platform as did the tunisians and Egyptians (hence egypt’s interest). In the first Iraqi war, sadam predicted “the mother of all tank battles” when 5000 Iraqi tanks squared off against a force of roughly 2000 abrahms (shipping must have been a real b*tch). What resulted was the total annhilation of the iraqi force with 3 abrahms lost. When youre dealing with 4th generation fighter or tank technology (fighters in this case) it’s not an analogs outcome. It’s binary, like two computers chips in a clocking contest, the more drastically superior technology wins all the time, every time. If Libya had 4th gen fighters and tanks like Egypt (Egypt runs f16’s and abrahms) it would be trickier. But they don’t. They have outdated tanks from the 60’s and dassault mirages from the same period. F18 superhornet can annihilate both with ease. Not to mention that France and uk have commited to the air assault as well, so an already engaged Libyan force will be facing the combined air might of three super powers and rebels rearmed by Egypt, plus missile barrages courtesy of the navy. None of this impacts our forces in Afghanistan as they are using helicopters for close quarter assaults and marine f18’s (maintained independently of the navy despite being a sub division, kinda like a bankruptcy remote entity in finance). The navy and air force have long been out of the picture in afghanistan as that is a marine operation (army in Iraq, preparing for withdrawal). So we are using untapped resources here. That being said, I wish we’d set a precident by nit being involved. A policy of non-involvement always sounds good, but so far none of our presidents (recently) have had the backbone to enforce it. I was really starting to think Obama was going to be the first. Also, none of this crap is cheap, and as we all know, the us hasn’t exactly been running a surplus lately. We could be using that money on state pensions instead of air mailing our one reliable export (cruise missiles) free of charge.
I think Obama learned well from another one-term president, Bush Sr…
“American army is public good of Americans and the world.” - Lord QQQBEE circa Aug 2010
Maybe an oversimplification but where there is oil there is American interest. Libya has oil, Qaddaffi was slowly returning to the welcoming arms of the prior admin see the lifting of sanctions, new investment from numerous American companies, and removal from the “Axis of Evil” gang under Bush Jr… Things are messier than anyone wants to admit, the cynical answer as to why outside intervention is necessary is because the return to stability in that region is critical for the commodities market (see Oil), current foreign investment, and future investors. Humanitarian reasons always take a step back to the all-mighty paper currency. I am not sure what a no-fly zone will do for the people of Libya but his ousting is 40 years over due… Just saying.
Looks like it was the right call. “Libya declares cease-fire. Libya’s foreign minister says the country is declaring an immediate cease-fire and stopping all military operations, following a UN vote that authorized a no-fly zone and “all necessary measures” to protect the Libyan people from attacks by Moammar Khadafy’s government.”
^ What follows now?
Burji Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Maybe an oversimplification but where there is oil > there is American interest. > > Libya has oil, Qaddaffi was slowly returning to > the welcoming arms of the prior admin see the > lifting of sanctions, new investment from numerous > American companies, and removal from the “Axis of > Evil” gang under Bush Jr… The type of oil extracted in Libya is not used by the Americans, it is mainly used in Europe, especially France, im not sure of the sepcific type of oil, I think it is much less dense or something, cant remember the exact details. So the oil side of things is much more of a European objective. Although the US army and defensive department are constrained with the other ‘two’ wars that are ongoing, at least it is a UN agreement, and I would expect to see alot more support from the French and Germany milatary, and also the UK and other Nations, with the US playing their part aswell, but hopefully it will only be a very incremental role. The no-fly zone should have been brought in earlier in my opinion, it was only Russia and China that were holding it back. But if there is anything the recent uprising in Libya has shown us is that Gadafffi and his regime should go, I mean the way they handled the protests was deplorable (killing their own civilians), and the constant anti-demorcratic rhetoric coming from the Gadaffi government is not helping either.
^ sor, but Germany is also holding it back. France, Belgium, Norway, UK and Canada seem to be ready in a few hours for an air-strike. New deaths in Benghasi today, air attack and tanks. Caddafi is like a cockroach, pretends to be dead (saying that he stops fire) and then runs again. I hope volunteers from Europe will form troops to help the legitimate government of Libya to kill the cockroach.