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Another chance to score the Expeditionary Medal on the horizon?

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2011 - The United States military "is in the planning and preparing mode" on Libya, and will be able to provide the full range of options for national leaders, Pentagon spokesman Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan said here today.

The U.S. military is moving naval and air forces to the region, he said.

President Barack Obama asked the military to prepare these options as the situation in Libya gets worse. News reports indicate while Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi is attacking rebels in and around the capital of Tripoli, anti-regime forces hold the east.

In a Feb. 26 call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Obama said: "When a leader's only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now," according to the White House.

The Defense Department has not been directly tasked for any mission, Lapan said.

"We have planners working various contingency plans," he said. "It's safe to say as a part of that, we're re-positioning forces to provide for that flexibility. We are re-positioning forces in the region to provide options and flexibility."

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also urged Gadhafi to stop killing his own people and leave. She also said the United States government has been reaching out to Libyan rebels.

"We've been reaching out to many different Libyans who are attempting to organize in the east and as the revolution moves westward, there as well," Clinton said at Andrews Air Force Base yesterday. "I think it's way too soon to tell how this is going to play out, but we're going to be ready and prepared to offer any kind of assistance that anyone wishes to have from the United States."

Lapan ruled nothing out. "Again, it goes back to having a full range of options available," he said. "So those forces could be used in any number of ways. Re-positioning them provides that flexibility so they can be used if needed."

 

8 Comments


NO!  Much as I'd enjoy the nostalgia of seeing the Eagle, Globe & Anchor again flying over the ramparts of Tripoli, stay the heck out.

I have no confidence in our current administrations competence to wage the wars we have now and adding an 'intervention' only worsens our situation.

Let our good friends and allies among the Arab world and/or the OAU sort this out.  They are always decrying the influence and interference of the United States in Middle Eastern/African affairs, sooooooo...... here's their opportunity to put up or shut up.

Or perhaps an appeal can be made to the United Nations to issue a proclamation decrying the violations of human rights in Libya.  Assuming the head of that committee is not still from... Libya.

The best case scenario is that the Libyans themselves throw the bum out.  Go ahead and isolate the current regime diplomatically and financially, but do not put American boots on the ground!

As a side note, how is the mass uprising of the people clamoring for democracy in Iran going?

 
Moving naval forces in -- with no carrier group. Only ones we have that are even *close* to the Med are the Vinson and the Enterprise, and they're keeping an eye on the Iran-AfStan area.
 
Let us hope that if we send in the troops it is because the Libyans resolved it themselves to the point that it's a Humanitarian Service Medal, with no opportunities for "V" devices on ribbons.
 
My nicey-nice above notwithstanding, this one really worries the Europeans, as I think they fear that if it goes down really hard, there will be a refugee outflow to Europe, besprinkled with AQIM types.

I also think we want to be positioned (i.e. posturing) as being on the side of goodness and light, hopefully without having to actually *do* anything.  Of course, we run the risk of encouraging people who, in the end we won't/can't/don't actively support.  I dunno.  With this administration, it's hard to tell how it's going to play out.  At least with the current occupant of the White House, we need not fear a BLCM* attack.

*Bimbo-Launched Cruise Missile.
 
The buzz this morning, Bill, is that Kearsarge and Enterprise are moving into the Red Sea to be able to flex into the Med if needed.
 
The only business we have in Libya is securing Ghaddafi and the others involved in the Lockerbie, Berlin disco, and other assorted terrorist actions.

If the Europeans (especially the Italians who are most directly threatened) can't control this one themselves, then I never want to hear them whine about the US using military force to deal with similar crises ever again.

I just don't see the same threat to American interests in this Libyan civil war that I saw in either Iraq or Afghanistan,  or recently in Egypt.
 
For John of Argghhh!:
Don't be so sure.  After all, there IS Moochelle...
 
While I believe I've made my opinion quite clear, I too would favor non-military intervention.  However, if we do decide to do more than even just a no-fly zone, I'm more of the rubble don't make trouble mindset.  And this time, leave off the rebuild your enemy's country phase.