I was reading the New York Times this morning for updates on the situation in Libya and yet again I was taken aback by what officials are saying (or not saying, really) about the coalition's plans in the North African country. While yesterday it was Robert Gates who was dominating the "What did he just say?" game, today it is Alain Juppe, the French Foreign Minister. He is quoted in the Times as saying
"The destruction of Qaddafi’s military capacity is a matter of days or weeks, certainly not months."Days or weeks? Is that how the allies are operating? I pointed out yesterday that they were taking their time to meet in London to discuss the future of Libyan action, and it now seems clear why. When you ask someone for a timeline and they say, "Days of weeks," what they really mean is, "I have no idea."
Obviously Minister Juppe did not want people to think that the allies did not really know what was going on in terms of Libya, so he added that the military operations would not take months. This seems to be in contrast to what top advisor to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Henri Guaino, said Monday. He was quoted saying that allied intervention in Libya would last "a while yet." Sounds more than "days or weeks" to me.
I don't think anyone can contest this statement anymore: The allies rushed into this military action against Libya with complete disregard to plans beyond the initial strikes. Juppe also told the Times that "You can’t expect us to achieve our objective in just five days." I don't think anyone did, except for the people calling the shots.
Photo - French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe (Wikipedia)