"problems worth solving"

I *think* what the president is trying to accomplish with the American intervention Libya is establishing a precedent that America can act as a partner in an international coalition, rather than always leading the way. To the extent that I'd like to see America less involved in policing the world, generally, but also recognize that the world sometimes needs policing (setting aside the merits of this particular action for the moment), I suppose this is a positive move.

I nonetheless remain skeptical. I'll believe the American role is limited when it is demonstrably so.

And the notion that the US does not "turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries" would be laughable were we not talking about, you know, atrocities.

ADDENDUM--After scanning the transcript, that speech was even more nonsensical than I appreciated when I was half-listening to it while working on something else.

I can't help but wonder if this is how the Brits felt after Blair got talked into joining us in Iraq.


Gino said...

after the speech i was left thinking: even HE doesnt have an honest clue as to why we are in this.

Brian said...

I am fairly well convinced we are there for the benefit of France, the UK, and Italy.

Or more precisely, for the benefit of Total, BP, and Eni.

Obviously, he can't say that.

Gino said...

nope. i really dont believe oil has anything to do with it.

besides, that would be giving him way too much credit for having a clue.

Dave said...

The US cannot be involved in any coalition military operation without leading it because it is the only country that has the military capability to do anything. Sure, the initial Tomahawk strikes into Libya were a combined US/British effort ... out of 124 tomahawk missions, a total of 2 were launched from British platforms. There is no way you can make the US a supporting partner when it contributes 98.38% of the military effort.

And moving the command and control piece to NATO changes nothing. The military head of NATO ... an American Admiral. So Americans are still running the war, only now military decisions require the unanimous consent of all 26 member states.

This is an exercise is wishful thinking.

Brian said...

I don't think we're there for oil. I think we're there for the Europeans. Who are there for the oil.

I'm not the only one who thinks so, apparently:


And of course Dave is correct about the US being a mere partner under the aegis of NATO (or for that matter, the UN). The US military IS the armed component of both.

The US *could* be a partner if a coalition was built on an ad hoc basis with the other interested parties, apart from the NATO framework. But as I said earlier, I'll believe it when I see it.