Friday, April 22, 2011

Riddle Me This

I'll start by confessing that I'm not an expert in international relations. (Please, no wise cracks from the back of the room about dalliances with locals on foreign shores.) My total exposure to IR is limited to acquisition of a master's degree in the subject (MSIR--Troy Univ./European Extension, 1981). So maybe I'm just not qualified to understand the nuances of the Messiah's policy on Libya.

What I thought I learned was that there was a broad range of tools for achieving policy goals. I also learned that the tools can be applied singly or in concert. A very important concept I was taught was that policy must be hammered out by the administration using the best available information and then it must be expressed clearly and coherently in a unified voice by all the members of the team. You decide what you are going to do, the goals are made clear and then you act consistently in public so as to make your adversary very certain of your intent. The flips, flops, waffles and reversals are all done before you act.

Now, let's recap on Libya. The people arise. Qaddafi is a long known enemy of the US and a recognized supporter of terrorism around the world. It would seem that there is a clear national interest in influencing the outcome in Libya. You've got to weigh the alternatives before deciding though. Would we be better served with Qaddafi in power or with a yet-to-be-determined new regime?

The debate apparently takes place and after a mere three weeks of dawdling the Bamster announces that Qaddafi must go. The crimes against humanity as he uses artillery, armor and airpower against his own people are too egregious to tolerate. The dictator must go. And to that end we will make a mean face and urge economic sanctions. Wow! That's scary!

Within 36 hours the SecDef says we really support the rebels but Qaddafi's ouster is not one of our goals. Oops!

Three days later, after France takes the lead and Britain supports France in declaring military air support of the rebels with the express intent of getting Qaddafi to disappear, the Messiah seems to have had his testicles descend and he declares that the US will apply our unique capabilities to enforce a no-fly-zone. In short order it is apparent that: a.) it isn't a "no-fly-zone" but an interdiction campaign against Qaddafi's military, his command & control capability, and his entire Air Force: and b.) it will conclude the mess in short order.

Ahhh, can't have victory and certainly can't have it look like the US military is so damned good that it was easy. Messiah now recants his "Qaddafi must go" position to state that was never one of his goals. He also insures disruption of the operation by withdrawing US control of the operation of all NATO forces, despite the fact that the existing NATO command structure is de facto under US senior leadership in all areas of the alliance. A Canadian general takes over.

Now we see that Qaddafi takes the offensive and to garble things a bit more, Obama declares the withdrawal of US tactical air assets. SecState Clinton jumps in with humanitarian aid so that the dying rebels we are responsible for who believed we were helping them will have blankets and halal meals.

Are we getting a picture of that clear consistent foreign policy implemented the way I was taught it needed to be done? Then how about this:

Predators Patrol, Pat Qaddafi on Poh-Poh

We have created a permissive air environment in which systems like A-10 and AC-130 gunships can bring very effective firepower to bear with both precision and discrimination but neglect to employ them. We choose instead to "roam the alloted airspace, find the enemy and..." note his position on the grease-pencil board in the command post. "Anything else is rubbish."

The riddle I am left with is WTF is Obama trying to do and why?


Bigol said...

The occam's razor answer is the man is out of his depth and simply flails for any quick and easy solution with no overall strategy to be seen...

The more conspiratorial answer is it's all part of a grand strategy to significantly reduce American power and prestige. Including creating so much debt that we will be hamstrung - in the event of an overseas emergency (say China taking Taiwan) the most powerful military in the world will be sidelined.

juvat said...

I'll bet all his super smart, Ivy League schooled Czars told him that he could go in with no risk, kick Daffy's butt and put an end to the rumor that the Dems are soft on Defense. It's all about the Election.

The Donald said...

Ed, you mustn't forget that the man had a lot on his plate at the time: Getting ready for the Motown party, and making his basektball picks.

To paraphrase Barbara Billingsley: Ya really gotta cut him some slack, Jack!

Bigol is correct that the guy's out of his league, and really not up to community-organizing the country, much less the whole globe.

I read an account recently that suggested that "non-imperialism" is at the core of BHO's worldview. Of course, the camp of "non-imperialists" has with it a bunch of hangers-on from the Marxist camp, and the collateral damage from this abdication of a global leadership role is that we are now perceived as the pu$$y of the world.

immagikman said...

I think the Don and Bigol nailed it...nothing much more to add.

Ed Rasimus said...

Bigol and Da Donald:

The best overview of seen on the Bamster's motivation is the recent book by Dinesh d'Souza, "The Roots of Obama's Rage." I met Dr. d'Souza in Vail last month and he's got the background pretty well drawn for us.