As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

What Exactly is the Objective in Libya?

Do you know? Does anybody know?


Sorry, I get a little excited when we get into wars without CLEAR OBJECTIVES.

Like in Afghanistan, where, after months of meetings, the the Obamafolk came up with the objective of slowing the Taliban’s momentum.


I got no idea.

And now in Libya, we are apparently bombing the place just to protect the Libyan population from Qaddafi. It’s not to get rid of Qaddafi, though that was the goal President Obama announced at the beginning of the crisis a couple weeks back.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen yesterday gave the state of play on what must be an evolving policy – “this campaign right now” – saying we’re not trying to get Qaddafi. Here’s what he said:

Certainly the goals of this campaign right now, again, are limited, and it isn’t about seeing him go.

But here’s what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday:

The overwhelming vote by the Security Council, I think, reflects a broad understanding that, number one, stop the violence, and number two, we do believe that a final result of any negotiations would have to be the decision by Colonel Qadhafi to leave.

Uh, oh. Left hand, please contact right hand, immediately.

This president wants to dip his toe in stuff but is so afraid of getting wet. He can’t commit to specific goals, because that would mean being responsible for specific outcomes. And we all know George W. Bush is responsible for everything.

So Obama decides to ramp up involvement in Afghanistan – not to win it, but for some nebulous goal he can claim was achieved no matter what happens. And we’re in Libya, but not exactly to get rid of Qaddafi, but we kinda hope he’ll get out of town, in which case we can say that’s what we wanted all along.

And we’re not really responsible for the Libya fight for the long haul, just for a few days before we “hand it off” to whomever.

But who exactly is operationally in charge of the war right now? NATO? Obama? Sarkozy? Kim Kardashian? My cats?

Here are my cats. They are running the Libya operation.

Geronimo and Misha, at their command and control post.

And what are the criteria for “handing it off?” Is the trigger going to be the success of the mission, or the number of days we’ve been in it? Who are we handing off to? What is their level of commitment? Do we get it “handed back” if things aren’t going well? How long do the allies keep the No Fly/No Drive zone in place? If not the removal of Qaddafi, what is the landmark that signals we can back off militarily?


If we do not remove Qaddafi, who has a history of taking revenge, then impeachment proceedings really should begin. We cannot attack a leader in this manner and then not kill him. Qaddafi has already promised he will attack us, and on this point I am sure he is thoroughly lucid.


Sorry, I get excited.

41 Responses to What Exactly is the Objective in Libya?

  1. The president didn’t ever say our goal was to “get rid of Ghaddafi.” He said it was time for him to step down (like go to your room, I am the dad). I guess we can look forward to popping his head off in a hanging or something. Best case. I have said this before–and I don’t want to be too jaunty, but dictators or madmen or evil spirits or thugs or watever we name-call these people come in darn handy in running countries we can’t afford to run and don’t know how to run and don’t have any business running!

  2. In the art of war, this NFZ action is the equivalent of egging your antagonizer’s car; there’s some damage, but the car still runs.
    We have killed people in Libya with our bombardment, but it’s like a video game because we can’t see the death and suffering. There are no US protests against this war, no Hollywood types giving inane statements or calling the Prez a “killer of innocents”. No American has died or suffers injury from this horrible action, so the pubic shrugs and the Prez is on vacation playing tourist.
    This NFZ as it is played out, IS the end game. It’s over for the Libyans and Kadaffi but it might just be beginning for the US. Kadaffi is not without resourses or the inclination to seek revenge.
    This is a civil war in Libya and we have no business interferring in their political affairs unless we are going to protect every citizen in every country that violates what we deem to be their civil rights.

    • None of us–incl me–can spell this idiot’s name! But let’s pulverize everything. As I posted elsewhere on here, Kerry was on the blabs Sun saying G was pulling people out of their hosp beds and killing them and we–wah–had to protect them. How is an airstrike doing that? A missile? This is totally ridiculous–but I guess I need to take it up with Hillary.

  3. OMG … after the *sh-tty*, stressfull weekend I had … when I saw the picture of the cats – I died laughing. Luckily for me, I had no coffee in my mouth otherwise I would have spat it out all over my computer screen! Keith, thanks for the laugh….

    Several points:

    1. A POEM ….

    Eeeany, Meanny, Might Mo …
    between STATE and JCS,
    there is no one …
    running the show.

    Admiral Mullen stated that Q does not have to go and Secretary Clinton stated he did. I would like to see Carney spin this ….

    2. MIL SITREP. The only situation report I have read on Libya has been CNN, WHD and POLITICO – Obama has given no pressers and there are none planned so there is no update on:

    a. The damage inflicted by the Cruise missle attack.
    b. A casualty estimate in/around Q’s HQ compound.
    c. Air/Def asssets, AA, SAM(sites) destruction estimate.

    3. THEREFORE … Keith, you are entirely correct. Geronimo and Misha are indeed, running the show. AP has now reported that upon being asked by Ed Henry (CNN) if Misha would be moving the Illiniois National Guard directly to Libya, Misha replied: “I will do nothing until my master provides me with Friskies or FancyFeast. Uh, seafood, please. Meow.”

  4. Per Drudge
    The Illinois National Guard troops that specialize in re-fueling our planes are headed to the Libyan front? action? war? who knows.
    Are we to believe that our Navy pilot program does not include the art of re-fueling their jets in the air? And since when are our jets flying in Libya?
    They must think we’re all idiots watching JerseyShore.

    • Jersey Shore–talk about a Situation Room. Yeah–they do think we are stupid as hair and that no one cares. I have been contacted today by people who don’t care who CARE about this.

      As for the National Guard–we know the drill. Pretty soon, we will hear that weird grinding sound as this morphs into protecting the humanitarians on the ground, the NGOs, the poort hospital patients about to be ripped from their beds, etc. That would take police…well, their police are not very well trained, they can’t read….blah blah…Check in again in 10 yrs.

  5. “This president wants to dip his toe in stuff but is so afraid of getting wet. He can’t commit to specific goals, because that would mean being responsible for specific outcomes.”

    Why be surprised, Keith? I knew from the FIRST appearance of The One that this is his pattern. A crisis occurs; he disappears; others act; he reappears and criticizes what others have done and tries to jam everything into an overarching historical perspective that makes him look Lincolnesque. Don’t tell me you haven’t observed this pattern, so why be surprised that he wants to be in the game, but sitting in the next room with all the cards so he can rush out and claim that he had the winning hand all along and isn’t he the genius?

    And let’s not forget his love affair with foreign muslims. Of course he wants to be as passive as is possible when on is bombing a foreign nation.

    • Speaking of WaPo–I got an email from the NYT this AM offering me a free sub, courtesy of Lincoln (the car people, I guess). Uh…great! I don’t think I have to buy a car…we shall see…

  6. While it appears to be obvious that the goal should be to get Muammar Qaddafi (by whatever spelling you use) out, that may not be the actual goal. Rather, it is a chance to give the illusion of being resolute while being anything but, in truth.

    By sitting on his hands waiting for “international *consensus” on a UN resolution, Pres. Obama has ensured that it will not happen. Qaddafi’s forces have already driven the opposition to the brink of defeat, and it is unlikely that a no-fly/drive zone will allow them to regroup, much less turn the momentum. When it becomes obvious that all this is a waste of time and effort, Pres. Obama can pull back American forces and say, “We tried to support them, but the opposition just wasn’t strong enough.” Too little, too late and the Q stays in power.

    All this is too bad because even though we can’t be certain who is leading the opposition or that the opposition will be more pro-US, at the very least they cannot be more anti-US. Additionally, a new group in power would be too weak to create trouble on the international scene for a few years as it consolidated power. And should the opposition swing the momentum and throw off Q’s government, they will now be less inclined to be friendly to the US when they remember that protests against moderately-pro-US Mubarak had Pres. Obama in front of a microphone immediately calling for Egyptian regime change, but protests against blatantly-anti-US Qaddafi was met with Pres. Obama’s silence until it was too late.

    So our great, thoughtful, intelligent, president who was pitched as the smartest man to ever occupy the White House has turned a situation that could have resulted in no real loss into a situation where some sort of loss is inevitable.

    *NOTE — I asterisk the word “consensus” because the UN resolution was a sham. After Russia voted for it, Putin (who is the real leader of Russia) condemned it. The “consensus” is most likely an attempt to give Pres. Obama enough rope to hang the whole US.

    • I agree with much of this, William–but can you visualize the moment when we say, “This doesn’t seem to be working out, proceed with what you were doing…” We are invested now…

      • Yes. Unfortunately, I doubt the repercussions of that decision have been considered. This administration puts little to no effort into descerning second- and third-order effects.

    • Not being the sharpest knife in the drawer hampers my understanding of what we’re doing in Libya, but processing all the info from MrO and his military Brass leads right to your interpretation of what’s going on.
      The goal is to force Kaddafi back to his tent in the desert and then…we…will…uh….go/do..nothing/nowhere but…in a few days….back seat…coalition forces..ships/planes/bombs..uh ..
      The point is that they don’t have a clue for an exit strategy or even to the purpose of this whole military war/conflict/target practice/ or whatever it is.