Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Gates: Libya? It's "Complicated"

Speaking from Russia days after that Eurasian giant's Prime Minister called the Libyan operations a "crusade," United States Defense Secretary Robert Gates deflected criticism of allied disorganization saying it was "complicated," adding
"We haven't done something like this, kind of on the fly before. So it's not surprising to me that it would take a few days to get it sorted out."
I don't really want to dwell on this because I've spoken a lot about Libya, but the fact that Gates' retort to the questions of what Jack Cafferty calls the "falling apart" of the allied coalition is "We're not really prepared for this, and it's really hard" is disconcerting. It sounds like something I would say in middle school about my math homework.

I'm no military commander, but to bomb targets in a country embroiled in a civil war "on the fly" might not be the best military strategy. Despite Obama's two promises of the United States not taking a leadership role, Gates today also offered to keep the United States leading the Libyan operations for the next week or so. From the New York Times:
But the United States military also indicated on Wednesday that it could sustain its role for some time in the Libya operation without damaging commitments elsewhere, notably in Afghanistan.
The allies who are standing behind the United States in the operations seem to be in no rush to overtake operations from America. From the same New York Times article:
The French foreign minister, Alain JuppĂ©, said on Wednesday that representatives from the United States, Europe, Africa and the Arab nations would meet next week in London to discuss who would be in charge of military operations once the initial onslaught on Libya’s air defense systems and recalcitrant ground forces was complete, The Associated Press said.
Next week? I would like to know what is preventing these countries from meeting before next week. It's clear that there was no plan beyond "Drop some bombs." This is the slowest "on the fly" coalition I've ever seen.

Photo - Defense Secretary Robert Gates (Wikipedia)

No comments:

Post a Comment